Why a College Mascot

 

Ever since the Quaker Oats Man made his first appearance in 1877, mascots have been branding products and businesses of all types. Mascots are one of the most classic forms of branding and remain relevant today, promoting products and slinging slogans with continual fervor. But why do so many different organizations choose mascots as the center of their brand strategies? It’s all about recognition and sociability, making them the perfect ambassadors for your college or university.

Living away from home for the first time while attempting to sort out a career path often leaves new students feeling lost. When alumni recall their collegiate mascots, however, they’re likely to say, “We were the…” rather than, “Our mascot was…” It’s mascot psychology; on some level, they identify with the mascot. They feel like part of its community because it’s the one thing they shared with every other student. This is the main benefit of collegiate mascots– they create that sense of belonging students crave, and it makes them feel at home.

Other benefits of collegiate mascots include:

  • Becoming a recognizable symbol for your college – in both the campus and surrounding communities
  • Helping increase awareness about available programs and services
  • Engaging students, alumni, staff, and faculty to get more involved
  • Entertainment and building spirit at campus and community events
  • Personification of your college’s brand
  • Marketing and PR opportunities

Bringing Your Mascot to Life

Want to start building community around your college or university? Here are some things to consider while putting together your very own mascot.

  • Get the students involved. Have them vote on a design or host a submission contest to start building community around your mascot even before he can give high-fives.
  • Be sure of your needs before you have the costume designed. A two-person mascot, for example, won’t easily be able to run or jump.
  • Consider your school’s or town’s history. Was your area known for gold mining? A prospector character might be a good fit for you.
  • Avoid any characterizations that can be considered offensive. You want your character to charm and unify, not anger and polarize.
  • Make use of school colors. This might seem obvious, but making him/her easily identifiable among students is key.

Using Your Mascot

Your mascot can personify your school without saying a word. Students will rally around him/her and relish photo-ops as a sign of school pride, so appearances at campus sporting and social events are important. Other opportunities to foster community around your mascot include:

  • Appearances at municipal events and parades
  • Creating social media pages
  • A naming contest
  • Sponsoring a “mascot night”
  • Creating clothing, school supplies, and other gear featuring your mascot’s likeness

Mascots create lifetime, loyal supporters for your school, a unique and important ROI that can’t quite be replicated by any other branding technique.

 

Interested in an Olympus mascot for your college or university?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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