FREEMAN HIGH SCHOOL

Rebrand

Create a new mascot and visual identity

Cliff Notes

THE ASK: Create a new mascot and develop a visual identity for Freeman High School.

THE CONFLICT: While some people feel alienated by Freeman's long standing "Rebel" mascot and push for change, others worry that the school's identity will be lost in a new nickname.

 

THE RESOLUTION: A more inclusive mascot that embodies the same Freeman spirit.  

THE BACKGROUND 

Freeman is a public high school in Richmond, Virginia. Since opening in 1954, Freeman’s mascot has been the “Rebels”. However, a number of cultural factors including other successful school renaming efforts, a summer of equity focused activism around the country, and a shift in local sentiment around vestiges of the confederacy, resulted in a push to change the Rebel mascot. 

THE SITUATION

While many people supported a nickname change, a large percentage of the Freeman community grew attached to the Rebel mascot. This caused tension between two vocally divided camps: those who resisted change due to fear of losing Freeman's identity and those who never felt accepted by the mascot in the first place.

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OUR APPROACH

Focus Groups

STUDENTS

COACHES

COMMITTEE

Interviews

SCHOOL BOARD REPRESENTATIVE

FORMER PRINCIPAL 

ATHLETIC BOOSTER PRESIDENT

FORMER ATHLETIC DIRECTOR

Survey

1,000+ RESPONSES

CONSUMER INSIGHT:

People believed that the Rebel nickname was what supported Freeman's identity, and they saw themselves in that identity.

Without the Rebel, Freeman would be lost. 

DISCOVERY

Freeman's identity is not rooted in its nickname; it's rooted in the spirit of it.

OPPORTUNITY

Retain the Freeman identity by repurposing the same spirit and values the Rebel had come to embody in a new, inclusive nickname.

SO, WHAT HAD THE REBEL COME TO EMBODY?

CRITERIA OF CONSIDERATION

PILLAR 1

Enduring Connection

All Freeman community members can identify with the nickname

PILLAR 2

Collective Identity

Ability to live on its own, but stronger as a group 

PILLAR 3

Purposeful Movement

Symbolize the act of moving forward with intent

PILLAR 4

Retain Values

Retain the school's core values: family, pride, excellence, and intensity

PILLAR 5

Unique & Timeless

Tread the line between traditional and modern

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My Mavericks

Amanda Yoon (ST)

Charlotte Robins (ST) 

Hunter Mott (ST) 

Ali Weiner (ST) 

Matt Cavallo (AD) 

Hannah Berling (AD) 

Joe Mrava (AD) 

Hamza Ali (AD) 

My Role

Client contact 

Research plan + discussion guides

Focus group moderator 

In-depth interviews

Quantitative/qualitative analysis

Strategic development 

Name development

Creative briefing 

Deck flow + presentation