Their days as a “community college” long behind them, Polk State College has adopted a new attitude. Now the school’s sports teams will reflect that change. This morning PSC President Dr. Eileen Holden announced the school is adopting the Eagle as the team mascot.
“This was a great opportunity for us to adopt a dynamic mascot that more accurately reflects our institution’s character as well as our county’s character,” Holden said. School officials found local inspiration in state environmental reports that indicate Polk County has over 200 nesting pairs of bald eagles — almost one-fifth of Florida’s eagle population.
For close to 50 years the teams sported the Viking logo and a mishmash of green, orange, white and black. The new Eagle branding will concentrate team colors to red and black. “The change in colors gives us a chance to stand out a bit more, relative to some of our most obvious competitors in academic and athletic pursuits,” said Holden. Five of the school’s six athletic programs will defend championships in the coming year and school officials expect the new branding to help the team stand out on the field.
Polk State Athletic Director Bing Tyus noted that current student-athletes and coaches were included in the branding process, “Our coaches are more focused on winning than on what color shirts they wear,” he said, “But it’s obvious that they are excited about our new look.”
School officials noted that the branding process was accomplished using no state or taxpayer funds, “We used auxiliary funds – revenue we generate from the operation of concessions, for instance – to cover the expense of this project. It was very important to the President that we not tap state, student or donor money for this project, and I’m pleased we were able to do so,” said Polk State’s Vice President and CFO, Peter S. Elliott. Related to the rebranding, PSC announced an exclusive partnership with Adidas and a licensing agreement with Strategic Marketing Affiliates, Inc.
“The visual aspects of this rebranding – the colors, the mascot, and our new logos – are fun and exciting. But the real impact this announcement will have is going to be felt over the long haul. It’s all about strengthening ties with Polk County,” Holden said.