February 1, 2018 10:43:42 AM
The Greater Starkville Development is beginning a rebranding effort to make itself and its mission easier for the community to understand.
While GSDP will still retain its official name, a core part of the new branding is the organization simply going by "The Partnership."
Partnership CEO Scott Maynard said the change reflects a desire to make The Partnership's mission more approachable for the general public.
"One of the things we're moving to focus on is to embrace the words 'The Partnership' in our name," he said. The Greater Starkville Development Partnership is a very long name, and every time you use that, you end up trying to explain what The Partnership is and all the components that take place.
"Really, what we want to try to get people to begin to view us as is The Partnership -- that entity in the city and county that works to bring people together," Maynard added.
The branding change also comes with a new logo, which features a pair of maroon figures underneath green and blue leaves. The leaves, according to branding material Maynard provided, represent the growth, with careful nurturing and cultivation, of a seed to a harvest. The pair of figures represents a partnership and the collaborative work that comes with it.
Maynard said the new branding will not replace The Partnership's "Mississippi's College Town" branding that it uses for Starkville and events in town.
"It's going to be a complement to that," he said. "We'll still use Mississippi's College Town for all of our tourism promotions and special event promotions because we have themed events and activities built around that. We're proud of that tag line and don't want to do anything to that."
Work on the rebranding effort started in the fall, after The Partnership got a full staff in place. Maynard said the organization will continue to roll out information about the new branding as it prepares to launch a capital campaign later in the spring.
"Over the next month or month and a half, we're going to launch a series of videos as we begin to launch out our new goals and our mission going forward," he said. "In March, we'll launch a capital campaign to begin the process of raising support to help meet those new goals."
Maynard said The Partnership is still determining the capital campaign's fundraising goal. However, he said any funds raised would go toward supporting and expanding Partnership events, as well as supporting its entrepreneurship and education work.
Partnership Board President Jerry Toney said the capital campaign will help support three task forces that focus on different areas of development.
"We went through a strategic planning process a year and a half ago that led to the creation of three task forces focused on education, quality of life and entrepreneurship," Toney said. "The Partnership is committed to those. When you think of Starkville, it's hard not to think of those."
Toney, like Maynard, said the overall branding change should make it easier to understand what The Partnership is, and better reflects the collaborative relationships that helped create it.
"If you look at The Partnership and how it was formed and evolved, it is a partnership," Toney said. "The past the Greater Starkville Development Partnership wasn't fully clear in what it was. The Partnership exists through the city of Starkville and the county and the university and our economic development partners with the (Golden Triangle Development) LINK and beyond."
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