Does anyone out there in Eagle Nation feel as I do about our Brand?
Primary + Secondary and a Mascot.
Primary + Spirit + Secondary and a Mascot.
University + Primary + Spirit + Secondary and a Mascot.
Baseball + University + Primary + Spirit + Secondary and a Mascot.
What is this guy talking about? Does this have anything to do with football or Georgia Southern? Some of you might see where this is going. Many others might have already closed the webpage.
But stay with me as I am about to blog about something that has been bothering me for some time and I want to know what other fans and alumnus think.
There was a great write up in the Georgia Southern Magazine last month about the rebirth of our football program and how the University went about choosing a nickname and developing a logo for our new venture. I hope all of you read the piece. If not, stop now and read this first: http://news.georgiasouthern.edu/magazine/2017/05/01/a-mark-of-destinction/
As it stands now, and this is officially from Georgia Southern University and Learfield Licensing Partners, we have the following marks (or logos).
- University Mark
- University Seal
- Strutting Eagle
- Primary Athletic Marks
- Secondary Athletic Marks
- Spirit Marks
- Baseball Logos
What I outlined at the start of the blog is my problem/issue. And in the following paragraphs I’m going to open the discussion on our Athletic Marks/Logos, how they are being used and why this approach is inconsistent and lacks identity.
“Do you have polo’s with the Academic Logo?” “I don’t like the GS logo with the Eagle Head, can you get this hat with the new Athletic Logo that says GEORGIA SOUTHERN under the Eagle Head?” “Do you have any other items with the Cole Swindell Logo other than the hat?” “I want the football coach’s polo with the baseball GS logo on it, you know, the official adidas sideline polo that I see the coaches wear. Why don’t you carry that?”
You can see where I’m going here. As a retailer of Officially Licensed Georgia Southern products, I get asked these questions a lot. And as a graduate of our fine University with a BBA in Marketing with an emphasis in Sales/Sales Management, I often scratch my head as to our use of marks/logos. As I referenced earlier, what most now call the “Academic” Logo was developed as our Primary Athletic Logo and well, our University Logo. When did this logo become the University logo and a new Athletic logo adopted? Ask any of “Erk’s Eagles” and they only identify our Athletic program and University with the “Academic” logo. This confusion has continued as we “rebranded” the athletic logo, then dropped that one in favor of what is now called our “Spirit” mark. Then sometime in the late 2000’s we “rebranded” the athletic logo again, and added another secondary logo, but still use the “Spirit” mark/logo for our Athletics. Now throw in the Baseball Logo (it’s actually, officially, called the baseball logo by the University) being used by the entire Athletic department and things get really inconsistent.
Who are we? What logo/mark identifies us? Who chooses what logo to use? What is our marketing/branding strategy? Why the continued changes and confusion? Does anyone but ME lose sleep over this??? (It’s probably the Marketing Degree talking, lol J)
This approach lacks direction and consistency. Why is our football team using the baseball logo? Because Cole Swindell got famous and wears our baseball hat? (BTW we as Eagle Nation cannot thank Cole enough for his continued support and love of Georgia Southern University and our Athletic Programs) But if you don’t know, most of America outside of Statesboro thinks the GS on Cole’s hat is his initials. Don’t believe me? I sell more GS hats than any other product and all thanks to Cole, but these customers don’t come to my website because of Georgia Southern. They come because they Googled “Cole Swindell Hat”.
Is it because the Head Ball Coach “likes” the baseball logo? Why is the University Mark, or what we call the Academic Mark used for Athletics too? Again, why I can’t sleep sometimes.
Does anyone out there in Eagle Nation feel as I do about our Brand? I feel as if we need to step away from the consistent changing and adopt a University wide branding and identity strategy with defined outlines on how/where/when our logo is used. Not logos. You want to build a brand, stay consistent. You want an identity, stay consistent. You want a strong association with your University and Athletic programs, stay consistent. The current approach lacks direction and dedication from Georgia Southern to build strong visual and emotional bonds between our logo and us.
35 years ago Dale Lick, the University and the Athletic department worked for consistency and hit it out of the park.
“It always concerned me because, as I argued to Lick and the others, whatever you put out there sends a message,” said John Parcels
“Just simplicity,” said Roy Parcels (John’s Father). “If you get too fanciful, logos get out of fashion quickly.”
A mark of distinction? More like a mark of inconsistency. I for one want to start sending the right message, simplify our current logo/mark situation and work towards consistency in our brand and image. How about you Eagle Nation?
Until next time, HAIL SOUTHERN and No Place Else!
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