Monday, October 23, 2017

Why a Vol State Mascot?

We recently unveiled the new physical mascot for Vol State and now we're in the process of taking suggestions for a name. Why are we going to a Pioneers mascot logo and physical mascot after all of these years of not having one? The answer is simple: students in our traditional age groups respond strongly to mascot identities for colleges and universities. This first dawned on those of us in PR after a student panel at a community college PR conference two years ago. The students all expressed regret that community colleges didn't have a stronger mascot presence and to them it reflected a boring campus life. Those who attended colleges with a mascot responded enthusiastically. This generation connects with mascots.

We understand that a community college mascot will never match the marketing power of Smokey the Dog at UT or Big Red at WKU. But a mascot can be a valuable part of student life and student culture, allowing us to share that our campus has many activities and events to offer students.

The mascot logo and character will be used in athletics and student engagement events. However, it will be used sparingly. Our academic foundation is the heart of what we do and student success will continue to be our calling card. Strong academic instruction and support is the primary focus for our marketing and outreach, as always.

A mascot does have a role in retention work interestingly enough. Studies show that students who are better connected to their college tend to do better in courses. A strong campus life and campus identity helps connect students to campus. A mascot can help in that process.

If you're interested in reading more about mascots and marketing, check out this blog article that brings up some of the main points.

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