Bullpen Marketing brings UHD’s Ed-U-Gator to life

Stefanie Botelho's picture
Wednesday, April 30, 2014

There’s a new gator prowling the halls at the University of Houston-Downtown. Bullpen Marketing, a leading marketing agency specializing in creative marketing strategies, web design, logo design, printing, fulfillment, and promotional products, re-envisioned the school’s mascot, Ed-U-Gator, giving the scaly crocodylia his first official, branded image to be used consistently across all media.

The marketing firm has designed numerous logos and mascots for primary and secondary schools.

This was its first mascot design for a university.

“People are passionate about mascots,” said Colin Hageney, President of Bullpen Marketing.

“Mascots become so closely identified with schools. Students and alumni get cars in their mascot colors. They even paint their houses and man caves in those colors too. We have even heard of people getting tattoos of their school's mascot. Having that branded mascot helps strengthen customer loyalty.”

The university, the second largest in Houston, was founded in 1974 but hasn’t had one sanctioned image for the gator that gives the school its nickname. After other attempts to peg down an official image didn’t work out, UHD hired Bullpen Marketing in late 2013.

“Bullpen Marketing was able to grasp what we wanted. They listened to our students, faculty and staff who shared what characteristics were important in our gator, and captured it in two designs that were both embraced by our students and alumni,” said Diane Summers, the university’s Executive Director of University Relations. “I enjoyed working with Bullpen. They made it a painless, smooth process.”

The crew at Bullpen Marketing sat down with representatives from the university to discuss characteristics the university wanted in the Ed-U-Gator image. Then, based on those discussions, the design team created two images that were voted on by university staff, faculty, students and alumni.

“That really gave a sense of democracy and ownership among those associated with the university,” Hageney said.

After nearly 1,200 votes, the muscle-bound, closed open-mouth version won by less than 200 votes.

This was the first time the Bullpen Marketing team had created two different mascots for one campaign, Hageney said. “On the one hand, we have a perfectly good gator lying around. But we and the university thought it was important to create that connection by letting the people who will be using the mascot determine the final image.”

About Bullpen Marketing


Bullpen Marketing is a Houston-based marketing firm that offers many services ranging from print and web design to promotional products. As a fully integrated marketing agency, it specializes in helping companies and schools improve the way they promote the value of their products and services. Core areas of expertise include strategic planning, branding, academic and web marketing. Its clients range from elementary schools to Fortune 500 corporations. Founded in 1997, Bullpen is one of Houston’s fastest growing marketing and promotional products companies with both local and national accounts. Bullpen is the preferred supplier for the American Marketing Association. Other clients include the National Association of Stock Plan Professionals, James Coney Island, and the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. Bullpen is a member of the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI), American Marketing Association (AMA), Promotional Products Association International (PPAI), and the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA). Learn more at bullpenmarketing.com