Thursday, May 17, 2007

Branding Global Pittsburgh

Carnegie Mellon University has settled its mascot issue. CMU chose tradition over current academic strengths, embracing its founder's Scottish heritage with a Scottish terrier:

According to junior women's soccer player Jennifer Howard, many in the athletic community want to keep the Scottie dog and simply update its image.

"There is a lot that can be done with that," said Howard. "It doesn't need to look anything like the current one. I think it's very important to continue the Scottish heritage and tradition of the mascot. I like the idea of giving it a name like Terry or Andy."

Calling on Pittsburgh icon Andrew Carnegie taps into an internationally recognized brand. A rugby team in Yorkshire, UK even renamed itself Leeds Carnegie (previously Leeds Tykes). Freakonomics author Steven Levitt recently said, "Pittsburgh has really reinvented itself pretty effectively." But that doesn't mean that the region should turn its back on its industrial past.

On the contrary, Carnegie's contemporary face is a great global image for Pittsburgh to project. CMU did well to remind students and alumni of its Scotland connection. Pittsburgh would be wise to follow CMU's lead. Might a partnership with Scotland be in the offing?


Jim Morris said...

I was just reflecting, as I walked through the rather empty Pittsburgh Airport, that the statues of Frano Harris and Georger Washingto should be joined by Andrew Carnegie's.

In fact, Carnegie should be the patron saint of the Burgh Disapora. From the age of 35 never lived in Pittsburgh. So the city's greatest benefactor was one of its first diasporans.

Jim Russell said...

I love your suggestion. Carnegie is indeed the perfect face for the Burgh Diaspora.