School spirit is broadly defined as a sense of identity and community shared by members of an educational institution.
Austin Dean has a much better way of putting it. Back when he was Valley High School Student Body Secretary, he wrote, “I believe that when everyone is supporting one another in whatever they are doing, [that] shows school spirit. This is how schools unite and become one as a student body and as friends. When everyone is demonstrating school spirit there is a sense and a feeling that everyone is together and willing to back each other up.”
According to research by Varsity Brands, conducted by Harris Poll, students with higher levels of school spirit perform better academically, are more civically engaged, and are happier in general than their less-spirited peers.
Teacha! Magazine tells us that students lose the drive to learn without school spirit, and teachers lose their passion. With social gatherings necessarily restricted due to the pandemic, all but eliminating the fun and excitement of pep rallies, sports, and other extracurricular activities, school spirit has undoubtedly suffered.
School spirit is closely tied with your team and school logos, mascots, and colors. This type of branding is a tool that builds excitement and makes a connection with students that will last a lifetime.
You can see that connection every day on bumper stickers, sweatshirts, pendants, and yard signs. Do we even need to mention how branding boosts merchandise sales and fundraising activities?
Researchers went so far as to study people’s preference for color using rival schools’ brand colors. The thought was that color preference should increase with positive feelings (or decrease with negative emotions) when an institution had strongly associated colors. They tested their theory on undergraduates at Berkley and Stanford.
According to that research, “Students not only preferred their own colors more than their rivals did, but the degree of their preference increased with self-rated positive effect (‘school spirit’) for their university.” In other words, color preference is often a response to the associations with objects and institutions.
Now, a question for you. As you read this short article, how many logos, color schemes, and mascots came to mind that you associate with your favorite team or memories of your school days?
Here’s an anecdote that surprised us. Our customers tell us that students do not vandalize their drinking fountains, reusable bottle fillers, and water coolers when they add a custom logo or color. Now, there is a positive effect of school spirit that will make your maintenance team happy!
It’s no wonder that custom branding is a common request from our customers. So whether it’s custom colors, graphics, or logos, we can add it to your indoor and outdoor drinking fountains, water coolers, and water bottle fillers.
Custom branding is now so popular that other Morris Group International divisions have adopted the practice, as well! For example, check out Whitehall Manufacturing’s line of rehabilitation products popular with professional and collegiate sports teams.
Including your school colors, logo, or mascot on the bottle filling stations and drinking fountains your students use every day is a simple and effective method of increasing school spirit and minimizing vandalism in the long-term—all while students are encouraged to hydrate themselves. It’s an all-around success.