A new era has begun for the Jefferson Community College (JCC) department of athletics. On Tuesday, October 28, 2020 Jefferson launched a new branding initiative, highlighted by a new logo, 20 unique marks, a first-ever Cannoneer mascot and a custom font developed for the athletics department. "lt’s an exciting day. I believe this is an important step in honoring our rich athletics tradition and our history of success, but defining who we are and who we aspire to be," Director of Athletics Jeffrey L. Wiley, said.
The results are a representation of the department's core values: strength, competitiveness, pride and passion. A very powerful but less visible aspect of this effort is the unifying and galvanizing impact this logo will have on the spirit, pride and identity amongst all members of JCC athletics and our College family, including our student-athletes, student body, faculty and staff, alumni and our fans.
The process began over a year ago. The College interviewed several branding firms and selected Rickabaugh Graphics, an Ohio-based company with extensive experience in collegiate athletics branding, recently securing the title of official branding partner of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), the conference in which JCC competes. Rickabaugh used input from many members of the campus community to create an array of potential designs, while also ensuring that JCC’s new brand was unique. Following the initial stages of development, Rickabaugh and the College held focus groups to gather feedback and information on a few potential concepts. The focus groups included JCC students, studentathletes, coaches, alumni, fans, and members of the community. The information gathered through these sessions was used to chart a new, inclusive identity for the athletics program that moves beyond the traditional cannoneer image of a white male soldier.
"When I visited Jefferson last winter, it was apparent that everyone on campus had tremendous pride for their College. In addition, the athletic programs boasted a rich history and a future full of great promise," said Eric Rickabaugh, owner and creative director of Rickabaugh Graphics. The Rickabaugh Graphics staff realized that the new look for Jefferson athletics must portray that same pride, history and promise. There needed to be a new athletics brand that matched the quality of athletics that were part of the Cannoneer legacy and future. Rickabaugh stated, “This was a careful and conscientious undertaking and as a result, the final athletics brand is one of the best we have created. Everyone at Rickabaugh Graphics is thrilled to have been part of creating the new athletic identity for the Cannoneers. We are tremendously proud of the resulting designs."
The new logo continues to feature the cannon, which was essential in keeping to the historical accuracy of the cannoneer, an important position in the military during the battles fought in Northern New York during the War of 1812. As a testimonial to the College’s strong relationship with Fort Drum, most notably highlighting 35% of enrolled students being active duty, veteran or military dependents, the new logo features crossed cannons and a shield shape, as a nod to the crossed swords of the 10th Mountain Division and a military patch.
A significant element, new to the athletics logo and brand identity, is the incorporation of the bald eagle. When the campus community was surveyed, the majority of respondents wanted JCC to continue being the “Cannoneers.” There was also sentiment relating to a desire for an inclusive or gender-neutral mascot and logo. After several concepts were considered, the eagle was chosen to represent the Cannoneer spirit.
As an embodiment of valor, strength and courage, the eagle will represent Cannoneer Athletics through the new logo and has also been chosen as the College mascot. The eagle mascot will appear in a military cannoneer uniform. The eagle mascot costume is in production and will arrive later this winter. The Eagle Cannoneer mascot is without a name at the moment. The College plans to enlist the student body to help endow it with a name later this year. College President Ty A. Stone stated, “We are so excited to launch this new brand and welcome the eagle cannoneer mascot to campus. This is the first mascot in the history of JCC so we are really pleased. Providing our students with an engaging college experience begins with instilling a sense of school spirit, so we look forward to seeing the mascot at sporting events and student activities. We are so thankful to the Jefferson Foundation, the Faculty Student Association, the JCC Student Government Association and the JCC Campus Activities Board for their support in funding this initiative.”
The Jefferson Athletics website now features the new branding and the Jefferson Bookstore is carrying merchandise with the new brand and logo for sale, both in the store and online. Plans are underway for incorporating the new branding on campus, specifically on athletics uniforms, in the gymnasium and on the athletic fields. For more information on Jefferson Cannoneer Athletics, call the Athletics Department at (315) 786-2232.
Davon Scott Named Athlete of the Week
Sophomore guard, Davon Scott, of the Jefferson Community College men's basketball team was named JCC athlete of the week for the week ending November 21, 2021. JCC's athlete of the week program is sponsored by Victory Promotions and Under Armour.