Brooks City Base announced Thursday that it will now be known as simply “Brooks,” and Tesoro released a statement that the 49-year-old refiner will go by “Andeavor” — two new rebrandings among several other San Antonio household names that have recently changed.

In January, the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio adopted the shorter UT Health San Antonio for its marketing and outreach efforts. Two years ago, microlender Accion Texas broke from its parent organization and became Liftfund.

And, at Mission San José Wednesday night, dozens of members of Los Compadres — the group that provides financial support to the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park — gathered to celebrate its new logo and name: Mission Heritage Partners.

The wave of name changes has one thing in common: a desire to better align an enterprise’s given name with its brand or how people perceive it.

At Brooks, for example, the change comes after a 2015 survey that found that 52% of Bexar County residents thought Brooks was still a military installation. In 1995, a Base Realignment and Closure decision had shuttered the historic Air Force Base. After its closing, the development has operated as a mixed-use community on the city’s Southside. The Brooks board of directors approved a name change to help clear up this misconception.

“It truly symbolizes the different purpose of these 1,300 acres than the last 100 years. It’s really about the future of San Antonio and a model for developing and redeveloping communities within San Antonio,” said Leo Gomez, the four-year Brooks president and CEO.

“Removing the guard shack and fences was really important. It showed that we don’t intend to develop this place as an island unto itself, but instead an anchor for all the opportunity that will take place within a wider radius of these acres here.”

In fact, Brooks has undergone a long list of name changes through its history, starting with Gospert Field, then Kelly Field No. 5 and Brooks Field during World War I. Following the base closure in 2011, it became Brooks Development Authority and most recently, Brooks City Base.

Meanwhile, Brooks continues to grow. A new Embassy Suites Hotel with conference space and a spa opened there several weeks ago, and Brooks will break ground on a 350-square-foot light industrial space this summer. Signage at Brooks will be altered to reflect the new name over the coming months.

Independent refiner Tesoro Corporation and its logistics company, Tesoro Logistics, also announced a name change to Andeavor and Andeavor Logistics LP, that will become official on Aug. 1. Along with the name change comes new logos and ticker symbols – from TSO and TLLP to ANDV and ANDX.

“We are announcing a new name to reflect the company’s ongoing transformation,” stated Tesoro’s Chairman, President, and CEO Greg Goff. “The change to Andeavor acknowledges the significant progress we’ve made in becoming a premier refining, marketing, and logistics company, and signals our aspiration to continue creating greater value for our stakeholders.”

A Fortune 100 company, Tesoro was founded in 1968 as a petroleum exploration company headquartered in San Antonio. The company now employs more than 13,000 people worldwide.

Andeavor will continue to license the Tesoro brand to retail stations, according to a statement, and will not make the Andeavor name part of its retail portfolio, which will include approximately 3,000 locations following a $6.4 billion acquisition of Western Refining this week.

The UT Health San Antonio name change came after two years of assessments and research, said Heather Adkins, vice president and chief marketing and communications officer, and was launched internally last fall.

“The community told us they didn’t fully understand what all we did,” Adkins said, recalling the shortened “utesca” pronunciation of the acronym UTHSCSA. “In health care and academics, we love acronyms. But they really don’t help anybody understand the business. We have a significant academic mission with five schools. We have an almost $200 million research portfolio. Very few people realize the depth and breadth of research happening here. Thirdly, we have a significant health care component.”

While the Health Science Center has been doing business publicly under the UT Health San Antonio brand since the beginning of the year, the institution retained the longer name for official use. Other institutions, including the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, have also taken on the UT Health brand.

“It’s early,” Adkins said of the rebranding effort. “You’re very well aware that the market is changing pretty quickly, and health care is very dynamic in San Antonio. So being active and standing up with UT Health San Antonio for five months now, though it’s still early, what we are seeing is a recognition and adoption of the brand. It’s been fairly easy given it’s an organization that’s 55 years old.”

Stephen Souter, board chair of the nonprofit Mission Heritage Partners (MHP), said the catalyst for the organization’s name change was the 2105 UNESCO World Heritage designation for the Spanish-colonial missions. “Then last year we celebrated the centennial of the National Park Service and next year is the Tricentennial for San Antonio,” Souter said. “It was the perfect storm. We are proud of what has happened in the past and it’s time to look to the future.”

San Antonio Missions National Historical Park.
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. Credit: Shari Biediger / San Antonio Report

Led by Executive Director Frances “Rosebud” Coffey, Mission Heritage Partners works in cooperation with the National Park Service, the Archdiocese of San Antonio, the City of San Antonio, Bexar County, and the State of Texas. Founded in 1983, it is the only officially chartered “friends” group providing support to the four missions within the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park.

The rebranding and new logo, created with help from Texas Creative, is also an effort to communicate the group’s identity to newcomers and get more people involved in that mission. MHP is currently working with the National Park Service to open Rancho de las Cabras, part of the Mission Espada complex.

Shari Biediger

Shari Biediger is the development beat reporter for the San Antonio Report.