After months of anticipation, the ACC Riverbat is ready for his big debut.
Last fall, the college launched an intensive search to find a mascot that would build pride and tradition, unite campuses and programs, foster a college-going culture in the community, and someday create a new revenue stream for instruction and scholarships. The search culminated with the selection of the Riverbat last April.
Now the ACC mascot is coming to life. He’s hosting a premiere party, called the Riverbat Rally, at noon Thursday, November 18, at the Northridge Campus. The location was based on a contest held this fall, and attendees will be the first to see the Riverbat in person – or rather, in creature.
‘This is huge! We have a mascot, something to rally around and take ownership in.’
“This is huge! We have a mascot, something to rally around and take ownership in,” says Avy Gonzalez, president of the Center for Student Political Studies and co-chair of the mascot search committee. “I can’t wait to see Riverbat merchandise take its place alongside all the Longhorn, Bobcat, and Aggie T-shirts we’re used to seeing on campus.”
ACC began gathering mascot ideas in October 2009; more than 1,000 suggestions were submitted. The committee spent months researching mascots, then held a number of focus groups before naming the four finalists.
“We established criteria to ensure the mascot would help us meet all our goals,” says Brette Lea, executive director of Public Information and College Marketing. “It had to reflect the essence of ACC, be unique, and not already be in use in Central Texas.”
Students, faculty, staff, and the community cast their votes in spring, and the Riverbat won handily.
“I think even those who didn’t initially vote for the Riverbat are coming around and getting excited,” says Lea.
So what does a Riverbat look like, you ask?
“That’s exactly what we wanted to know when we started designing it,” says Lea. “The college took ideas from art students, faculty, and anyone else who wanted to submit a concept. We did a lot of homework and testing before finally coming up with the design for the logo and costume.”
For now, the Riverbat’s look remains a closely guarded secret, with only a few individuals privy to the design. But getting a firsthand look at the Riverbat isn’t the only incentive to make it to the Riverbat Rally.
“The first 100 people at the rally will get a free, limited-edition Riverbat T-shirt,” says Gonzalez. “Everyone else will have to get them at ACC bookstores, which will have shirts available for purchase beginning at noon on November 18.”
Until then, you’ll get only a couple of hints about the Riverbat’s look.
“He has big wings, big brown eyes, and a pair of rockin’ high-tops,” says Lea. “Trust me – you won’t be able to miss him.”
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Austin American-Statesman – Austin Community College Mascot Idea Worth Pouncing On
Round Rock Leader – ACC Seeks Mascot Suggestions
Austin American-Statesman – ACC Opens Mascot Voting
Austin Chronicle – Join ACC Mascot Madness – Vote Now
Austin American-Statesman – ACC Mascot Search Down to Four
KEYE-TV – Help Choose ACC Mascot
News 8 Austin – ACC Mascot Voting Wraps Up
Austin American Statesman – ACC Announces New River Bat Mascot
KUT Radio – ACC Selects New Mascot, Creating Tradition and Building Brand
KVUE – ACC Announces New Mascot – the River Bats
Austin American-Statesman – It’s Official: ACC is Home to the River Bats
Ahora Si – ACC Announces River Bat Mascot
FOX 7 – After Months of Searching and Thousands of Votes, ACC has a Mascot
posted in: ACC Newsroom, Banner Stories