UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | November 10, 2022

Pursuit for mascot advances with finalists from survey

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The decision makers for Dixie State University’s new mascot and identity are continuing the process after a survey’s options were narrowed down to the the Sun Warriors, the Trailblazers and the Raptors.

The survey included six options: the Raptors, the Marshals, the Rock Hounds, the Sun Warriors, the Wranglers, and the Trailblazers.  Over 4,800 people voted for the three finalists, said Jordon Sharp, chief marketing and communication officer. 

Sharp said each of the three finalists are unique to DSU.

“We have 10 years of research, multiple surveys, and the top candidates each time have been something to do with the sun and our climate, something to do with our pioneer heritage, and some kind of strong desert animal,” Sharp said.

The most popular identity in the survey results was the Sun Warriors, Sharp said. He said the Heat and the Suns were always popular in recent research, and Sharp said adding “warrior” to it made it a strong athletic identity. 

The second most popular identity in the survey results was the Trailblazers. 

“We found out that the bison were the original trailblazers in the United States,” Sharp said. “Then the pioneers blazed the trail, (and) now [DSU] students are blazing the trail.”

The third most popular identity in the survey results was the Raptors, Sharp said. He said the Raptors identity is a “strong, unique” athletic identity that has ties to southern Utah.

Athletic Director Jason Boothe said the most important thing in deciding the mascot is to just get it done. He said DSU has no branding around campus, and “we need that.” 

“The three options fit and make a lot more sense than the Red Storm does,” Boothe said. 

Sharp said there is no firm date when the new mascot will be decided, but it will be decided before the end of the semester.

“The process now is to dig deep with each identity,” Sharp said.

The process will consist of considering what each identity will align with colors, logos, how athletic uniforms will look, the name of the dance team, and possible traditions that will be built around each identity.

Boothe said the design part of the process and working with Love Communications is essential in deciding the new mascot.

“Artwork is key, and it’s got to be something that looks really good,” Boothe said. “We have to see [the artwork] before we can say, ‘Ah, OK, this is really going to fit.’”

Sharp said the identity committee, President Biff Williams, and the board of trustees will make the final decision on what the mascot will be.

“We will take these final concepts and ideas after we’ve dug deep to community members, additional students (and) focus groups,” Sharp said.

Sharp said the decision makers won’t open up more surveys to the world, but will open it up to more focus groups such as athletic boosters, alumni and students to get more “intimate” type of research back.

“Of course we’re not going to make everybody’s first choice, you cannot, but we have painstakingly tried to get everyone’s opinion possible,” Sharp said.