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Mascot Selection Committee meets
with selected marketing firm representative

Dec. 10, 2007 -
- Arkansas State University’s Mascot Selection Screening Committee today met with James M. Skiles, principal and creative director of Phoenix Design Works, a nationally and internationally recognized design firm specializing in comprehensive brand identity programs and logo identity design. Phoenix Design Works has been chosen as the sports marketing firm to assist ASU in the development of a new mascot and related imagery. In a 10:30 a.m. meeting, held in the Chickasaw Room of the Student Union, committee chair Jim Pickens discussed the committee’s recent work in the process of choosing a new mascot for ASU.

“Phoenix Design Works was chosen,” said Pickens, “because they know how important the imagery is in order to meet the high standards of this university.” Among Phoenix’s clients for collegiate sports marketing and branding are Louisiana State University, the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, and Southeast Missouri State University.  Dr. Dean Lee, director of ASU Athletics, also observed, “Phoenix Design Works has passion, energy, creativity; they really have a sense of excitement about the process, and they have a tremendous reputation nationally in the realm of athletics. They have designed for NASCAR, the Super Bowl, the University of Alabama, and the NFL, among others.”

“Beginning today, for the next two to three weeks, Phoenix Design Works will be in a research phase,” Pickens said. “Skiles will be using their resources to evaluate potential names that would serve the best interests of Arkansas State University. At the conclusion of this phase, the committee will review their recommendations, including perhaps some visuals. We plan to meet in early January to participate in a combining of two processes of screening and selecting, which will eventually culminate in a recommendation to Dr. Robert L. Potts, chancellor, ASU-Jonesboro, in the spring of 2008.”

Nine marketing firms submitted proposals for consideration and two were selected for personal interviews before Phoenix Design Works was chosen to participate in this process.

Pickens thanked the members of the committee for their work, noting that the process was begun as and remains broad-based, inclusive, and participatory.

Pickens also observed that the response to the open process had been tremendous. “We received 1,500 suggestions online, and once we removed duplications, approximately 700 unduplicated suggestions were considered.”  Chairs of the nine constituent groups on the Mascot Selection Screening Committee selected twelve names for further consideration by the full committee, and those names included A’s, Black Wolves, Diamonds, Express, Mallards, Mustangs, Red Dragons, Red Storm, Red Wolves, Ridge Raiders, Ridge Runners, and Thunderbirds. Pickens reminded the committee that they were not limited to this list of 12 names. “We want the best choice for Arkansas State University.  With the expertise of Jamie Skiles and his staff at Phoenix Design Works, we will continue to move forward in exploring the options for our new mascot,” said Pickens.

The Mascot Selection Committee members are:

Dick Freer, Faculty Senate representative
Glen Jones, interim vice chancellor for academic affairs and research
Dean Lee, director of intercollegiate athletics
Randy Martin, president of the Staff Senate
Jim Pickens, trustee emeritus and chair the Mascot Review Committee
Morgan Pippin, president of the Student Government Association
Gary Pugh, president of the ASU Alumni Association
Charles Rasberry, emeritus professor of radio-television
Tommy Reese, president of the Letterman’s Club
Beth Smith, director of alumni relations
Bill Stanley, attorney and chair of the public phase
Joe Turney, president of the Indian Club

Millie Ward, president of Stone Ward, based in Little Rock
Cari White, chief operating officer of the Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce
Robert L. Potts, chancellor of ASU-Jonesboro

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