Cougars

Inclusive MRU Cougars Brand

We are the Cougars

Since the beginning of the academic year Athletics and Recreation, and Marketing and Communications have been working together on an exciting project that will change the face of our campus and continue to help us work towards our strategic goals.

The Inclusive MRU Cougars Brand is set to invigorate our campus community and provide a renewed sense of pride and belonging.

We are the Cougars: all students, faculty, staff, Board members, alumni ... everyone who is part of our community, and everyone who is invested in the success of Mount Royal University is encouraged to be part of the Cougar spirit.

That spirit may have its roots in Athletics, but its potential to unify our campus is limitless.

Events such as the Crowchild Classic, MRU Colour-U-Blue and U Fest demonstrate that our community wants to connect with spirited activities, and the inclusive MRU Cougars project will look to harness that incredible energy. We will be working with students, faculty, staff and alumni to build this excitement over the coming months.

We are pleased to announce that we are in the creative stage of this project, and we have been sharing new options for the Cougars logo with our Mount Royal community stakeholders.

In the meantime, keep your eyes open for a sneak peek of the new visuals coming to your inbox in mid-June.

If you have additional questions regarding the inclusive MRU Cougars Brand project, please contact beproud@mtroyal.ca.
 


Q&A

An inclusive MRU Cougars brand is a brand which is larger than just the Athletics department and can become a catalyst for school pride and spirit at MRU. It is integral to the student and employee experience and it contributes to each individual being an engaged MRU member. An inclusive MRU Cougars brand will be more than a logo and visuals, it will be the emotional experience that individuals have when interacting with MRU programs and services.  School spirit and pride is an important factor in things such as wellness, retention, and alumni giving.
As outlined in the institutional strategic plan, student success is closely linked to their connection to the institution. Now is the time to engage students further in an inclusive Cougar brand, include everyone and build community on campus.

As well, the existing Cougar brand has many application issues. It gets lost in comparison to our competitors on marketing and communications materials. This results in our sports teams being mistaken for high school programs in public.

Finally, there are some high profile items such as the Triple Gym Courts (this summer) that are being updated according to fiscal planning and if we miss these opportunities we will have to wait up to 10 years to update the brand in these areas due to budget. 
In the past few years there have been many discussions about the limitations and shortfalls of the existing Cougars logo, however an assessment was not started until July 2016 when the Athletics Strategic Planning marketing committee determined that it was time for a review of the visual identity. Through focus groups that included Mount Royal University students, staff, faculty and alumni, the feedback helped Athletics realize that it was time to refresh the Cougars visual identity, and its meaning to the Mount Royal community as a basis for campus spirit.
The company selected through the Mount Royal University Business Services RFP process is Artslinger. While many qualified companies entered bids on the project, Artslinger was selected for their previous experience working with both academic institutions and athletic organizations, as well as their team’s impressive experience.
Following the creative phase, the committee will work with Artslinger on the development of brand guidelines for the application of the brand. The completed brand will be shared with the Mount Royal community at a TBD date. The campus community will be informed of the date with full details through email communication.  
Presently the departments of Athletics and Recreation, and University Advancement Marketing and Communications are leading this project. With the goal of making the MRU Cougar Brand and inclusive representation of campus spirit, the committee hopes that others on campus will embrace the spirit of the brand by using it in appropriate applications. 
Recognizing the importance of the MRU Cougars inclusive brand, Athletics and Recreation, and Marketing and Communications are all involved in sharing the costs of the development of the new visuals from their current operating budgets.