Sunday, June 22, 2014

Branding and Growing


The Sun Rises at East. 
Warm Fuzzy, Best, West.

The elementary school slogans of yore, reflecting the unique personalities of the schools, have fallen out of favor for the more generic term, the Athens Bulldogs, which once was just the high school mascot. For me, the unifying rally that we are all bulldogs reflects a focus on sports and competition that is not inline with elementary school challenges or life.

Once a bulldog, always a bulldog, is a set path that means we miss the chance to be the beginners or relish the warm fuzzies. Branding early limits the potential meaning we could find for ourselves. We give kids a packaged deal laced with a mascot that reflects one value.

Bonding around a sports team is generally overrated in my book. From high school to college to pro teams that represent American cities, we are so much more than a few special athletes and our obsession with sports.

Where is the love of the brilliant, the human interest, the artist, or the different? It's the difference between TV and public radio where instead of a narrow foot trail, the potential to shine is a wide swath.

We need open space and inviting words to grow and discover for ourselves.