Dixie State set to reveal new athletic identity, mascot

ST. GEORGE – In a few short days the Red Storm will be no more.

Dixie State University will be unveiling its new athletic identity and logo Monday as a part of the school’s 102nd annual D-Week celebration, which has appropriately been themed “The Reveal.”

At Dixie State University, St. George, Utah, April 6, 2016 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News
Dixie State University, St. George, Utah, April 6, 2016 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

The unveiling will occur in the M.K. Cox Performing Arts Center, Monday, at 4:30 p.m. Dixie State President Richard B. Williams will give a short presentation related to the identity and attendees will receive a T-shirt and a sticker displaying the school’s new identity. Children will also receive books detailing the story behind the new identity. Dinner will be provided.

The new identity will be one of the three finalists that resulted from a 17-month process that drew upon a decade’s worth of data related to crafting what will ultimately become the institution’s new persona.

Williams, Dixie State’s Identity Committee and Love Communications, a Utah-based firm hired to assist with rebranding efforts, went through the research and sought community input via online surveys and focus groups.

There were originally six finalists presented to the public to vote on online in a November 2015 survey that drew over 5,000 respondents from the community. The three identity finalists emerged in the wake of the survey and were separated by only 100 votes each.

“They really came to the top,” said Jyl Hall, Dixie State’s public relations and marketing director. “They were great options.”

The three finalists included:

  • Team name: Sun Warriors | Mascot: “Apollo” the Greek God
  • Team name: Raptors | Mascot: A raptor
  • Team name: Trailblazers | Mascot: A bison

The finalists and their associated logos were then shown to focus groups in January and February with one of the three finalists coming out ahead of the rest. Once the decision was finalized, those involved were sworn to secrecy until the official reveal Monday.

“Everyone here who knows is really excited about it,” Hall said, “and I think the whole community will be as well.”

On the campus of Dixie State University, St. George, Utah, April 6, 2016 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News
Campus of Dixie State University, St. George, Utah, April 6, 2016 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

The quest to change Dixie State’s athletic identity and mascot began in November 2014 when the student body president initiated a survey concerning the matter. Around 68 percent of the respondents at the time weren’t happy with the Red Storm identity.

“What is a ‘Red Storm?’” said Chet Norman, DSU’s alumni marketer and public relations coordinator. “It’s not very tangible or marketable.”

People are excited for the new identity and mascot so they will have something they can identify with and rally around, Norman said.

The 17-month process of changing the institutional nickname and athletic mascot from Red Storm and Big “D” the Bull, respectively, stemmed from the desire to establish a strong brand and identity for the university — one of six goals central to the institution’s strategic plan.

“We wanted to find something that people would like to promote and more,” Hill said.

Inside the Burns Arena at Dixie State University, St. George, Utah, April 6, 2016 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News
Inside the Burns Arena at Dixie State University, St. George, Utah, April 6, 2016 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

The university was committed to finding an identity that has a strong tie to the region, embraces the Dixie Spirit, furthers the institution’s mission, stands apart from other collegiate mascots and instills fear in athletic opponents.

“I am beyond thrilled with the new identity and excited to share it with the community,” Williams said. “It satisfies all the criteria the Identity Committee established and will aptly represent Dixie State University for a long time to come.”

So which will it be? Will a path to victory blaze on by the Trailblazers? Will the Sun Warriors outshine the rest? Or will the Raptors shred the competition?

The public is invited to attend “The Reveal” Monday afternoon at the M.K. Cox Performing Arts Center on campus.

M.K. Cox Performing Arts Center, Dixie State University, St. George, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Dixie State University April 2016, St. George News
M.K. Cox Performing Arts Center, Dixie State University, St. George, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Dixie State University April 7, 2016, St. George News

Event details

  • What: Dixie State University reveals new identity branding
  • When: Monday, April 11, 4:30 p.m.
  • Where: M.K. Cox Performing Arts Center, Dixie State University, 225 S. 700 East, St. George | Overflow seating will be provided in the Gardner Center ballroom nearby
  • Admission: Free to the public

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

 

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