Dixie State University students, faculty and community members will soon identify themselves as either a raptor, marshal, rock hound, sun warrior, wrangler or blazer.
DSU’s Identity Committee has created the survey along with Love Communications, a firm that helped gather research on the new mascot, where students can rank six mascot preliminary finalists. The results won’t determine the mascot, but it will help the committee make its ultimate decision. The finalists have been determined based off of 10 years of research.
Jordon Sharp, chief marketing and communication officer, said the finalists are subject to be “tweaked,” and are being shown so the public can have a general idea of where the committee is headed.
The choices will show up in different orders for each participant who takes the survey. The finalists are as follows and are listed in no particular order:
Raptors (Rocky the raptor)
Marshals (Marshal the mustang)
Rock Hounds (Red the rock hound)
Sun Warriors (Apollo)
Wranglers (Red the cowboy)
Blazers (Blaze the buffalo)
Sharp said all six of these potential mascots and identities are unique to DSU in some way and either tie to DSU’s history, geography or its strategic plan. The committee aimed to create an identity that wouldn’t fit at any other university, Sharp said.
“We have a unique opportunity here with our geography and our history that we can play on things that other places wouldn’t be able to do,” he said.
One of the first criterion the committee searched for in a new mascot was its athletic appeal. Sharp said something that is tough and that students would want on a hat is a characteristic of a good athletic identity. Similarly, Athletic Director Jason Boothe said a tough mascot is important when battling an opponent.
“If you just look at all the other [mascots], they have that toughness and strength to them,” Boothe said.
The survey is composed of “mood boards,” which include a summary of the identity, visuals, and its branding strengths. Those who participate in the survey will have the opportunity to make comments or other mascot suggestions at the end.
Sharp and Boothe both said being on the Identity Committee has been a challenge because there are several publics the university needs to please. Sharp said finding an identity that no other institution has was a tall order because there are over 4,000 higher institutions in the nation.
Coming up with an identity that doesn’t offend anyone and makes mostly everyone happy has been the most challenging part, Boothe said.
“There’s always going to be someone who complains no matter what we do,” Boothe said. “It’s one of those things that we have to take our time with and make sure we do our due diligence.”
Sharp said coming up with a brand that’s authentic, clear and marketable will help distinguish DSU from other institutions.
“If you would have told me we would have had six identities that met all of our criteria, I would have said no way,” he said. “I feel like we’ve been able to do that.”
The survey is available online at dixiestate-nickname.com.