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There is some crazy mascot stuff out there.

If you’re bored, need a good laugh, want to waste some time …

College Football’s Top Ten Mascots (Bleacher Report blog)

Mascot Madness: a look at some of college football’s best mascots (NBC Sports)

The Fifteen Worst Mascots in America (College Hoops Heaven blog)

The Ten Worst Sports Mascots of All Time (Dallas Observer blog)

Susan T. Evans

William & Mary has signed a contract with a Dallas-based company called Torch Creative. Soon, the firm will prepare pen and ink drawings of a few mascot concepts.

Torch Creative specializes in team branding and corporate identity. The company’s client list includes several colleges and universities including George Washington University and Vanderbilt University.

Follow Torch Creative on Facebook.

– Susan T. Evans

“In Committee” – part 5

“Could we get something just a little bit different?”

The Mascot Search Committee met again last week for more consideration of W&M Tribe mascot ideas. One theme that surfaced (and resurfaced) is that William & Mary deserves something different. There was a lot of discussion about how important it is for the W&M mascot be be unique and distinctive.

Sounds obvious, right? Not so easy – take a look at this incomplete list of U.S. College Mascots!

We’re taking our task pretty seriously and looking at ideas and suggestions from all sides, keeping in mind that William & Mary, second oldest college in the U.S., needs an extraordinary mascot.

– Susan T. Evans

Flat Hat reporter Matt Poms caught up with W&M Athletic Director Terry Driscoll. They talked about the coming football season and the mascot search.

Read what Terry had to say when asked for “…a sneak preview of any potential finalists”


– Susan T. Evans

A while back we wrote about engaging a design firm to help us with the mascot “creation” process. After a successful RFP (request for proposals), the final selection of a design firm is nearly complete.

The next step will be working with the selected design firm to offer pen and ink drawings of a few mascot concepts. We’ll know more soon, but the plan is to post these concepts in the fall. And, yep, we’re going to want your feedback and comments.

Stay tuned.

– Susan T. Evans

Maybe you’re not a sports fan. Despite your absence at Tribe athletic events, you’re still likely to see the new W&M mascot! You’ll see it on t-shirts, caps, mugs …

During our filtering of the mascot ideas, we are aware that this new symbol will be broadly used for marketing and merchandising. So we are focusing on ideas that make that possible and work well with official logos and marks of W&M.

Perhaps, we’ll want to use a full-body version of our new mascot. For another purpose, we may want the mugshot only. Or, we may want to use the mascot alongside the words William & Mary. Let’s look at some concrete examples.

Here are two versions of Virginia Tech’s Hokie Bird.

hokie.jpg hokiehead.jpg

Here is an example from JMU using the school name, the nickname and the mascot.


In Committee? We’re keeping in mind that our new mascot will be solo (in person) and additionally represented through print, web, merchandise, etc.

– Susan T. Evans

When I was a kid, I envisioned intricate and complicated Halloween costumes for myself. I can remember my mother saying, “I’m not sure we can make that idea into a costume that you can wear.” Now that I’m on the mascot search committee, I know exactly why she said that and what she meant.

The committee is noodling over many, many ideas that, in the end, won’t be easily represented in a costume. Remember, mascots are expected to be pretty nimble and active in these suits. Here are a couple of suggestions where “making that into a costume” is problematic:

Example 1: The Tribe Spirit
It was suggested that the Tribe Spirit wear an ethereal costume in multiple colors.

Example 2: The Keystone
The wedge-shaped piece at the summit of an arch, regarded as holding the other pieces in place – similar to any of the ones adorning the Chapel at W&M.

In Committee? We are eliminating ideas that are not easily represented in a costume.

– Susan T. Evans

I’ve been joking for a few months that if you have to speak a paragraph to explain your mascot, it won’t work. Symbols work when they immediately convey a concept or a message to all who see them.

When the Tribe fans see the W&M mascot for the first time, we don’t want them to ask:

  • “What is it?”
  • “And, what does it have to do with William & Mary?”

In committee, we are eliminating ideas that we fear won’t be easily understood. Let’s see if I can make this a bit more concrete.

Example 1: The Leafy Sea Dragon
Eliminated because of the “what does it have to do with W&M?” factor.

Example 2: The Globalizer
Eliminated because it takes a paragraph to explain what it is and what it has to do with W&M.
The Paragraph – “William and Mary has an international heritage. We are educating global citizens and we welcome global ideas. Internationally, global sustainability concerns are at an all time high. Our mission statement indicates that we are furthering human knowledge and understanding, and to address specific problems confronting the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nation, and the world. Even going back to the original charter, we were founded to help make the ‘new world’ better.”

Example 3: President Ewell, “The Old Bell Ringer”
While a very interesting piece of W&M history, this idea was eliminated because it may not be immediately recognizable to all Tribe fans; it also takes a paragraph to explain.
The Paragraph – “In 1881, the College was forced to close for lack of funds. The College bell continued to be rung by President Ewell at the opening of each academic year, reminding Williamsburg that the ancient College still lived. As mentioned by Wilford Kale in his book Hark Upon the Gale, Ewell came to be known as “The Old Bell Ringer” during “The Dark Years”. There is the well-known tradition of seniors climbing the bell tower of the Wren building (as Ewell did) to ring the bell on the last day of classes in celebration.”

In Committee? We are eliminating mascot ideas that are not immediately understood.

– Susan T. Evans

We’re in committee – reviewing, perusing, considering, deliberating …

So how do we go from hundreds of mascot suggestions to a handful of concepts that we can show to the William & Mary community? Currently, the work of the mascot search committee is directed toward narrowing your suggestions to just a few ideas for a new W&M mascot. So how do we get there?

It’s a process of elimination.

To be frank, we did the easy work first. The committee started by reviewing the “low hanging fruit.” Without much effort, we eliminated mascots ideas that were, at their core, disparaging.

Although they were by far the minority, we did receive some suggestions with negative connotations. Some of these ideas were pejorative and did not represent pride and affection for William & Mary.

The disparaging ideas submitted to the mascot search committee? They are officially “outta here.”

– Susan T. Evans

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be giving you the inside scoop on mascot search committee deliberations. As we review the many, many suggestions for a William & Mary mascot, we are sharpening our focus and committing to the selection of the ideal mascot.

Stay tuned for part one of “In Committee.”

– Susan T. Evans

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