Mascot Marketing Firm Has First Meeting with Committee

JONESBORO, AR -- Arkansas State may be a step closer to a new mascot.  The school hired a design firm to help in the selection process of a new mascot.

The firm was selected last week and Monday met with the full committee for the first time.  The company is Phoenix Design Works.  They specialize in collegiate athletics.

The company's president Jamie Skiles will be given the list of 12 names the committee has selected.  He will also have access to the list of 700 names, just in case he sees something that the committee might have missed.

For the members of the Mascot Selection Committee, this is progress.  We will see more progress after the first of the year.

"I really want to start developing some things visually because it really is a big difference between talking about it and starting to look at the physical manifestation of it," said Jamie Skiles.

The members of the marketing firm will look at the college, the surroundings, and the school's history.

"The job of a brand is to help people make a decision.  I want the brand to make people want to come to sporting events here.  I want for people who have never heard of us to want to come here and pay tuition," said Skiles.

While some fans have been confused about the decision to hire an outside marketing firm, the committee wants to make it clear that they will make the final decision.

"The firm is not going to pick the mascot, the committee is.  That's our responsibility," said Mascot Selection Committee Chairman Jim Pickens.