Jefferson Community College (JCC) launched a survey on February 26, 2020, to gather input on an athletics rebranding initiative and the results are in!
In fall 2019, the office of Student Affairs initiated a project to develop a College mascot and rebrand the College’s athletics program with fresh logo and image. “Unlike many SUNY colleges, Jefferson does not, nor has it ever, had a mascot,” said Dr. Corey A. Campbell, vice president for student affairs. “School mascots are a proven method to increase school spirit and pride which can serve to positively impact student retention.” Similarly, a strong, well-respected athletics program can positively impact student recruitment. “As we began to enhance our facilities, the timing was right to develop a more modern look to the Cannoneers logo that also reflects the strength of our athletics program,” said Jeff Wiley, director of athletics at JCC.
In January 2020, Rickabaugh Graphics, the visual branding firm assisting the College on this project, conducted on-campus focus groups to gather feedback from students, faculty, alumni and community members to find out more about the spirit of Jefferson, perceptions of the Cannoneer brand and ideas for a mascot. Although original plans did not call for a change to the “Cannoneer” nickname, the suggestion to change the College’s nickname arose in each of the 6 focus groups. “There was enough interest in a nickname change that we needed to explore the idea further with a broader group of constituents, before making any decisions on a path forward,” said Dr. Campbell.
Jefferson’s Office of Institutional Research sent out an anonymous survey to current students, alumni and former students, faculty, and staff. Community members were also able to take the survey via the link that was shared on social media. Survey results from 1360 respondents indicated that 65% wanted to stay the “Cannoneers,” while 35% wanted Jefferson to consider a new nickname. Many who voted to remain the “Cannoneers” noted they appreciated the uniqueness of the nickname as well as the historical reference, long-term connection to the community, and link to the military. One respondent commented, “Traditions of history run deep and the Cannoneer name is synonymous with the sacrifices many generations before us endured. I am proud to be a Cannoneer . . .”
After reviewing the results of the survey, the College will move forward with the rebranding of the Jefferson Cannoneers logo and developing a vision for what an accompanying Cannoneer mascot could look like. The College plans to have logo and mascot concepts ready in early April for review and feedback from the campus and alumni communities. The rebranding project is on track for completion by the end of the spring 2020 semester and the mascot costume will be produced over the summer months.
For more information, contact Gillian Maitland, Marketing and Communications Director for Jefferson Community College, at (315) 786-2234 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.