Atlantic Cape Adopts 'Brand' New Message and Athletics Identity
October 4, 2010
Atlantic Cape Community College today introduced a powerful new brand message focusing on “opportunity,” a color scheme that harkens back to the college’s founding, and a new abbreviation to replace “ACCC.”
Following a two-year branding process that included extensive research and input from stakeholders, the college adopted a new brand positioning statement, marketing messages and tagline. The college also returned to its traditional red and blue color scheme that dates to the school’s 1966 opening, replacing the blue and teal palette in use since Atlantic Community College became Atlantic Cape Community College in 1999.
When the college undertook the branding project, with support from the Atlantic Cape Community College Foundation, it set out to discover and define Atlantic Cape’s brand identity and marketplace position, determine appropriate and effective messages to be communicated to key audiences, integrate the brand with the college’s mission, and enhance awareness of the college’s Blueprint 2020 Master Plan and upcoming fundraising efforts.
“With the transformational changes taking place at Atlantic Cape through Blueprint 2020--our facilities master plan--we felt this branding project was vital to help us tell our story to internal and external college audiences,” said Dr. Peter Mora, president. “For the college to build needed financial support going forward, it’s essential that we raise the profile and enhance the image of the school.”
Focus panel and telephone survey research conducted by the CLARUS Corporation, a firm specializing in community college branding, sought to uncover words and messages that would resonate with audiences the college depends on for its success. Over and over, the theme of “opportunity” was mentioned when respondents talked about the college and the transformational role it plays in its service area.
“We truly create opportunity for the people and organizations in Atlantic and Cape May counties,” Dr. Mora said. “We offer high-quality, affordable and accessible education, we respond quickly to business and industry workforce training needs, and for more than 40 years we have prepared future community and business leaders.”
Here are some elements of the new “brand” the college announced today:
- A new tagline, “Opportunity Starts Here,” or “Your Opportunity Starts Here” when addressed to students, will appear in advertising, student recruitment and marketing materials.
- An advertising campaign, featuring successful Atlantic Cape alumni and articulating key marketing messages uncovered in the branding research, will debut in local media this week. The campaign includes print, radio, television, outdoor, transit and online advertising.
- Red and blue (PMS 193 and 294 to be exact) have replaced teal and blue on the college’s “wave” logo, college stationery, imprinted materials and other items.
- A new abbreviation for Atlantic Cape Community College, “Atlantic Cape,” has replaced ACCC when talking about the college on second reference.
- Clear identity guidelines for parent (Atlantic Cape Community College) and sub-brand (Academy of Culinary Arts, Casino Career Institute, Health Professions Institute, etc.) logos have been developed to establish the primacy of the parent brand.
To ensure consistency of the college image, including the proper use of logos, colors and taglines, the school’s college relations office has created a web-based identity standards guide, at http://www.atlantic.edu/about/relations/identity-standards-guide.html.
Brand Positioning Statement
Dr. Mora said the brand positioning statement adopted sets the foundation on which the rest of the brand platform is built. It reads: “Atlantic Cape Community College plays an essential role in the development and growth of Atlantic and Cape May counties by providing education and training, based on anticipating and responding to community needs.”
New Athletics Identity Updates the “Bucs”
Atlantic Cape today also unveiled its new athletics identity, a red and blue Buccaneer pirate ship sailing on a sea of blue. As a secondary mark, the ‘Bucs’ teams will sport crossed cutlasses with the linked letters “A” and “C” on their athletic uniforms.
“Having a strong athletic identity is a key component in being a great athlete,” said Carmen Royal, dean of students. “Atlantic Cape’s new athletic identity clearly defines who we are. Both men and women athletes can proudly call themselves true Buccaneers.”
The new look, prompted by Dr. Mora’s push to expand the college’s intercollegiate athletics program, was the result of a creative interaction between Student Government Association leaders, athletics, and college relations staffers. Geoffrey Pettifer, director of college marketing and Mike Capen, graphic designer, met with students and athletics personnel and developed the new design.
In the last three years, Atlantic Cape has gone from two intercollegiate sports--co-ed archery and men’s basketball--to seven with the addition of men’s soccer, women’s basketball, men’s baseball, women’s softball and women’s volleyball. In addition, a
co-ed golf team is expected to debut as a club sport during the coming academic year with full intercollegiate status expected in 2012. The team will be based at the Mays Landing Golf and Country Club.
“It is very important to note that our commitment to expanding sports and fitness programs is based on providing opportunities for student engagement with the college outside of class,” Dr. Mora said. “The literature in higher education strongly indicates that increased opportunity for student engagement, as provided by sports and fitness programs along with other types of activities, will contribute to higher levels of student retention and graduation. Support for sports and fitness programs is an investment in student success.”
For more information about Atlantic Cape’s new brand, visit