The University of Wyoming did not bow down to internal and external liberal, social-justice-warrior pressure and came out a winner. As we covered before, the university’s mascot is a cowboy, and the marketing team debuted a new slogan for the university, “The World Needs More Cowboys.”
Associate professor Christine Porter took issue with the word “boy” in “cowboy” because it allegedly excludes non-males, while communications professor Tracey Owens Patton said that cowboys signify “erasure, racism, sexism, heterosexism, and genocide” to some people.
After the marketing campaign launched, several professors at the university criticized the marketing department and the university administration for permitting the slogan to be a focal point in the university’s marketing efforts. The university, located in the southeastern city of Laramie, is not located in a politically “blue” state and in 2016, voted for President Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton 68% to 21%.
As the Wall Street Journal reported, the Board of Trustees for the University of Wyoming voted unanimously in July 2018 to keep the marketing slogan and was rewarded for their votes. The bookstore for the university sold out of t-shirts that bore the slogan on it during its first week of sales. Adding to that, the university put the “The World Needs More Cowboys” slogan onto other products, selling about 5,000 items in the first six months. From July to December 2018, the university saw an increase of royalties of up to $38,000, when compared to the same time period in 2017. In total, the University of Wyoming licensed 143 different products with the slogan to third-party vendors, including a request from a funeral home to create a coffin with the slogan on it.
The marketing campaign ad’s video received half a million views online, which close to the state’s population of around 577,000 people. After watching the ads online, about 18,000 viewers clicked on the link and entered information for recruiters. The Wall Street Journal asked a university spokesperson for comment, and the spokesperson said “it’s pretty clear there’s been an increase in interest.”
It appears that the University of Wyoming notched a rhetorical (and financial) win, while it is a loss for the social justice warriors.