Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Central Arizona Finds Clever Solution for Mascot Scheduling Challenge

For over 40 years, the Vaquero has been CAC’s official mascot. In the early days of the institution, select students would sometimes dress in western attire and assume the mascot role for school events. Over the years, it became clear that a costumed character was desired by all, so school officials set to work on designing their collegiate cowboy.

Students, staff, and faculty districtwide were asked to participate in the voting process to decide the look of the Vaquero, from his hat to his chaps. The votes were tallied; the costume was designed; and “Vaquero Pete” finally made his debut during the 2018-2019 academic year.

With a new celebrity in town and five campuses for him to represent, CAC administrators needed a way to manage the many requests for Pete’s time.

“When we launched Vaquero Pete, we knew that we would need some type of a scheduling program or software,” says Angela Askey, Executive Director of Public Relations and Marketing. “There needed to be a way for our campuses, programs, and departments to go in and request the Vaquero for any specific events or activities they may be hosting. We also needed the ability to block off days and times if the mascot was already assigned to an event, if our student employees weren’t available to wear the Vaquero costume, or if we were on holiday break. On top of that, we needed a way for everyone to view when and where the mascot would be making his appearances.”

David Kohl, Web Developer for CAC’s Public Relations and Marketing Team, has been using 25Live for more than three years to manage the institution’s board meetings and academic calendars. When the request for a new, public-facing calendar came up, Kohl was quick to suggest 25Live for the job.

“I’m very familiar with 25Live and its capabilities, so I knew what it could do and that it had all the features we needed for this project,” says Kohl. “Angela needed to enter events with a time, location, and description, and, with 25Live, we already had the tools to do that and more.”

Using 25Live’s Publisher tool, Kohl was able to quickly and easily publish the new mascot calendar to the school’s website. Once the new calendar was in place, the mascot requests came pouring in. Pete is now available to all CAC campuses, and anyone within the institution is able to view his schedule online. Event organizers can plan their activities around when the mascot is available, and fans who want their picture taken with Pete can easily track where the mascot will be appearing next.

The flexible options available within 25Live have allowed the CAC marketing team to denote which student employee is responsible for each appearance, and the ability to create recurring events with a single entry has saved the group time and energy. Those events can then be published to Pete’s online calendar with ease using the 25Live Publisher tool. With an innovative use of the 25Live system, administrators were able to turn a daunting challenge into a straightforward process for all involved.

“To try to coordinate the appearances for multiple campuses and for multiple events, it was critical that we have a tool to help us organize Pete’s schedule,” says Askey. “25Live and the 25Live Publisher tool have been able to fill that need for us, and everything has been working very smoothly.”

Photo Credit: CAC Marketing Staff