Nigel the Nighthawk
Team: University of North Georgia
In an email to students on Wednesday, July 23, 2013, the University of North Georgia’s Office of Student Affairs announced the university’s students had chosen the name “Nigel” for the Nighthawk mascot
Nigel was selected overwhelmingly by UNG students this past spring, edging out other names by a 2 to 1 margin in a process led by the university’s Student Government Associations. During the process, students first suggested names and the top contenders were sent out again for a student vote.
A similar process was used to select the Nighthawk as the university’s new mascot prior to the January 2013 consolidation that created UNG, but suggestions were taken from students, alumni, faculty, and staff. As with the name, however, students also cast the final votes to select Nighthawk.
UNG worked with Rickabaugh Graphics, one of the nation’s top graphic design companies, to create the Nighthawks brand. Focus groups working to identify ideal traits of the brand decided the style of the Nighthawks image should be serious, and that it should reflect an “old-school” design. The Nighthawk also represents key descriptors that the focus group participants used for the Nighthawks: proud, determined, respected, tough, aggressive, dignified, and relentless.
The firm Street Characters, which has produced mascots for such notable professional sports franchises as the National Football League’s Denver Broncos and Major League Baseball’s Detroit Tigers, developed the mascot character.
Meet Nigel The Nighthawk, the official mascot of the University of North Georgia
Born: Fall of 2013 at Northeast Georgia Medical Center
Height: 6 feet
Weight: 200 pounds of pure muscle
Favorite Color: Blue
Favorite Foods: Worms, fish, and the occasional Mountain Lion
Role Models: Anyone who displays good sportsmanship
Job: Promoting events at the University of North Georgia, winning
Likes: Kids, Nighthawk fans, and winning
Dislikes: Any teams that are NOT the Nighthawks, early mornings
Hobbies: Attending UNG sporting events, nest-keeping, Tweeting (@UNGNighthawk) and meeting new friends on Facebook (NigeltheNighthawk)
Favorite Quote: “Birds of a feather, flock together.”