Leaders Talk Rebrand & Community Commitment
Residents throughout the greater Fishers area might have noticed Mudsock Youth Athletics (MYA), the primary local outlet for non-school youth sports programming, recently underwent a rebrand from its former moniker, S.P.O.R.T.S. Executive Director Scott Spillman says the rebrand decision came from a collective desire among the organization’s leaders to clarify its voice in the community as a nonprofit provider of a wide range of athletic programs.
MYA was founded in 1987 by a group of locals representing various single-sport leagues with the intention of creating an organization that benefited the youth in Fishers and in the Hamilton Southeastern school district. At the time, the town population was approximately 2,000 people. Today, Fishers has nearly 90,000 people and MYA typically sees more than 10,000 registrations for its various sports programs annually.
Throughout the past 30 years, MYA has grown to include 11 sports options with 12 member leagues.
“Despite our growth, our mission has stayed the same since we began – to foster character development, leadership skills and physical fitness in the youth of our community,” Assistant Director Beth Lawrence says. “We are proud that Mudsock Youth Athletics is now the largest volunteer organization in Fishers with more than 2,000 people investing their time over the course of the year. Every position – our coaches, commissioner and league boards – is filled by volunteers.”
MYA board and staff members, along with coaches, parents and other community members, collaborated with a local branding company throughout 2019 in the process of rebranding.
“Through this extensive research, it became clear that a rename and new logo was necessary to reflect how our organization has evolved and to more accurately highlight the services and programs we offer,” Lawrence says. “While the Mudsock name is used more recently to highlight the yearly competitions between the two high schools, our commitment to the community is more about collaboration and working closely with both the City of Fishers and the HSE School District.”
Spillman says MYA leaders reached out to parents and participants for thoughts on both the organization itself and any particular words or phrases that bring to mind youth sports programs. Leaders decided on a new logo they felt included both a modern feel and a retro look, representing an optimistic outlook for the future while acknowledging the organization’s 33-year history.
“We wanted to simplify the overall look while choosing a name that carried a greater meaning within our community,” Spillman says. “Our tagline, ‘10,000 kids, 12 leagues, one community, and no offseason’, was created to capture the level of involvement the organization has in our community. As an umbrella organization comprised of 12 leagues, we utilize 32 facilities throughout the area and carry out more than 2,500 events during the year. That’s impactful.”
Lawrence adds that the new logo reflects the organization’s recreational and competitive team sports that promote character development, leadership and physical fitness. The logo’s red tone represents Fishers High School, while the inclusion of blue represents Hamilton Southeastern School.
“The athletic sock is featured prominently dipped in mud as a tribute to the history of the community, and the sock is also slightly slanted to mimic the shape of the state of Indiana,” Lawrence explains. “When families see Mudsock Youth Athletics’ logo and name, we want it to evoke trust and confidence in our organization. We want families to connect the great moments and experiences their kids have growing as athletes and individuals in our programs, to our brand.”
MYA leaders also recently launched a committee focused exclusively on girls’ involvement in sports to curtail what Lawrence says is a growing trend of girls quitting youth athletics after the age of 12.
“We are encouraging more women to participate as volunteers in our programs, and we are working with the city and schools to better engage our teenage girl population through much of our programming,” says Lawrence, adding that MYA awarded 326 program scholarships to in-need families in Fishers last year.
MYA online fall sports registration closed recently, but be sure to check myathletics.com for any league date changes due to COVID-19. Families within the HSE school district can register for football, cheerleading, soccer, girls volleyball, cross country, fall baseball and softball, and girls field hockey.
Open registration occurs three times a year typically in January, May and August, beginning on the first day and extending throughout the month. Athletes that register during open enrollment are guaranteed a spot to play. After this time, league leaders place athletes on a waitlist and a late fee is implemented.
Mudsock Youth Athletics is located at 12690 Promise Road in Fishers. For more information, including a full list of programs, a registration page, scholarship details and more, call 317-845-5582 and visit myathletics.com.