A mascot is any person, animal, or object thought to bring luck, or
anything used to represent a group with a common public identity, such
as a school, professional sports team, society, military unit, or
brand name. Mascots are also used as fictional, representative
spokespeople for consumer products, such as the rabbit used in
advertising and marketing for the
General Mills brand of breakfast
Hubbard eagle, Hubbard Ohio 5'10" - 6'5"
The mascot for the 2007
Special Olympics, held in Shanghai, China.
Displayed in Pudong just in front of the Shanghai Science and
In the world of sports, mascots are also used for merchandising. Team
mascots are often confused with team nicknames. While the two can
be interchangeable, they are not always the same. For example, the
athletic teams of the
University of Alabama
University of Alabama are nicknamed the Crimson
Tide, while their mascot is an elephant named Big Al.
Team mascots may
take the form of a logo, person, live animal, inanimate object, or a
costumed character, and often appear at team matches and other related
events, sports mascots are often used as marketing tools for their
teams to children. Since the mid-20th century, costumed characters
have provided teams with an opportunity to choose a fantasy creature
as their mascot, as is the case with the Philadelphia Phillies'
mascot, the Phillie Phanatic.
Costumed mascots are commonplace, and are regularly used as goodwill
ambassadors in the community for their team, company, or organization
such as the U.S. Forest Service's Smokey Bear.
3 Choices and identities
4 Sports mascots
5 Corporate mascots
7 International mascots - Olympics and World Expositions
10 In music
11 See also
13 External links
It was originally sporting organisations that first thought of using
animals as a form of mascot to bring entertainment and excitement for
their spectators. Before mascots were fictional icons or people in
suits, animals were mostly used in order to bring a somewhat different
feel to the game and to strike fear upon the rivalry teams.
As the new era was changing and time went on, mascots evolved from
predatory animals, to two-dimensional fantasy mascots, to finally what
we know today, three-dimensional mascots. The event that prompted
these changes was the invention of the Muppets in the late
1960s.[dubious – discuss] The puppets offered something different
from what everyone was used to. It allowed people to not only have
visual enjoyment but also interact physically with the mascots.
Marketers quickly realized the great potential in three-dimensional
mascots and took on board the Muppet-like idea. This change encouraged
other companies to start creating their own mascots, resulting in
mascots being a necessity amongst not only the sporting industry but
for other organisations
The word 'mascot' originates from the French term 'mascotte' which
means lucky charm. This was used to describe anything that brought
luck to a household. The word was first recorded in 1867 and
popularised by a French composer
Edmond Audran who wrote the opera La
mascotte, performed in December 1880.  The word entered the English
language in 1881. However, before this, the terms were familiar to the
people of France as a slang word used by gamblers. The term is a
derivative of the word 'masco' meaning sorceress or witch. Before the
19th century, the word 'mascot' was associated with inanimate objects
that would be commonly seen such as a lock of hair or a figurehead on
a sailing ship. But from then on until the present day, the term was
then seen to be associated with good luck animals, objects etc.
Choices and identities
This article contains weasel words: vague phrasing that often
accompanies biased or unverifiable information. Such statements should
be clarified or removed. (March 2009)
Mascot of the
Borregos Salvajes and student at the Monterrey Institute
of Technology and Higher Education, Mexico City.
Part of a series on
Use of costume in Athenian tragedy
Society and culture
Elements and methods
Faubourg Marigny Mardi Gras costumes
French Quarter Mardi Gras costumes
Titan the Robot
Plague doctor costume
Batman's utility belt
Costume Designers Guild
Africa Movie Academy
David di Donatello
National Film Award
Costume Designers Guild (TV)
Costume Designers Guild (fantasy)
Centre National du
Costume de Scene
Costume Museum of Canada
Devonshire Collection of Period Costume
Korea Museum of Modern Costume
Museum of Ayrshire Country Life and Costume
Museum of the History of the Greek Costume
Portugal National Museum of
Costume and Fashion
Scotland National Museum of Costume
Often the choice of mascot reflects a desired quality; a common
example of this is the "fighting spirit," in which a competitive
nature is personified by warriors or predatory animals.
Mascots may also symbolize a local or regional trait, such as the
Nebraska Cornhuskers' mascot, Herbie Husker: a stylized version of a
farmer, owing to the agricultural traditions of the area in which the
university is located. Similarly,
Pittsburg State University
Pittsburg State University uses Gus
the Gorilla as its mascot, "gorilla" being an old colloquial term for
coal miners in the Southeast Kansas area in which the university was
In the United States, controversy surrounds some mascot choices,
especially those using human likenesses. Mascots based on Native
American tribes are particularly contentious, as many argue that they
constitute offensive exploitations of an oppressed culture.
However, several Indian tribes have come out in support of keeping the
names. For example, the Utah Utes and the Central Michigan Chippewas
are sanctioned by local tribes, and the
Florida State Seminoles
Florida State Seminoles are
supported by the
Seminole Tribe of Florida
Seminole Tribe of Florida in their use of Osceola and
Renegade as symbols. FSU chooses not to refer to them as mascots
because of the offensive connotation. This has not, however,
prevented fans from engaging in "Redface"—dressing up in
stereotypical, Plains Indian outfits during games, or creating
offensive banners saying "Scalp 'em" as was seen at the 2014 Rose
Some sports teams have "unofficial" mascots: individual supporters or
fans that have become identified with the team. The New York Yankees
have such an individual in fan Freddy Sez. Former Toronto Blue Jays
BJ Birdie was a costumed character created by a Blue Jays fan,
ultimately hired by the team to perform at their home games. USC
Trojans mascot is Tommy Trojan who rides on his horse (and the
official mascot of the school) Traveler.
Thunder II, live animal mascot for the Denver Broncos.
See also: Lists of sports mascots: Australian sports, Brazilian
football, MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, Olympics and Paralympics, U.S. colleges
See also: Native American mascot controversy, List of sports team
names and mascots derived from indigenous peoples
See also: Religious symbolism in U.S. sports team names and mascots
Many sports teams in the
United States (U.S.) have official mascots,
sometimes enacted by costumed humans or even live animals. One of the
earliest was a taxidermy mount for the Chicago Cubs, in 1908, and
later a live animal used in 1916 by the same team. They abandoned the
concept shortly thereafter and remained without an official "cub"
until 2014, when they introduced a version that was a person wearing a
In the United Kingdom some teams have young fans become "mascots".
These representatives sometimes have medical issues, and the
appearance is a wish grant, the winner of a contest, or under
other circumstances. Unlike the anonymous performers of costumed
characters, however, their actions can be associated with the club
later on. Mascots also include older people such as Mr England,
who are invited by national sports associations to be mascots for the
See also: Lists of advertising characters
The NBC peacock mascot (WJAR)
Mascots or advertising characters are very common in the corporate
world. Recognizable mascots include Chester Cheetah, Keebler Elf, the
Fruit of the Loom Guys, Mickey Mouse, Pizza Pizza Guy for Little
Caesars, Rocky the Elf, the
Coca-Cola Bear, the NBC Peacock, and the
NRA's Eddie Eagle. These characters are typically known without even
having to refer to the company or brand. This is an example of
corporate branding, and soft selling a company. Mascots are able to
act as brand ambassadors where advertising is not allowed. For
example, many corporate mascots can attend non-profit events, or
sports and promote their brand while entertaining the crowd. Some
mascots are simply cartoons or virtual mascots, others are characters
in commercials, and others are actually created as costumes and will
appear in person in front of the public at tradeshows or events.
Auntie Annes Pretzel Mascots
Most American schools have a mascot. High schools, colleges, and even
middle and elementary schools typically have mascots. Most of them
have their mascot created as a costume, and use this costume at sports
or social events. Examples of
School mascots include UNC's Rameses the
Ram, the University of Kansas'
Big Jay and Baby Jay, University of
Tennessee at Chattanooga's Scrappy the Mocking Bird, Western
Michigan's Buster the Bronco, Temple's Hooter the Owl, Villanova's
Will D. Cat
Will D. Cat the Wildcat, MIT's Tim the Beaver, Boston University's
Rhett the Boston Terrier, and St. Joe's "The Hawk".
International mascots - Olympics and World Expositions
The mascots that are used for the Summer and Winter Olympic games are
fictional characters, typically a human figure or an animal native to
the country to which is holding that year's Olympic Games. The mascots
are used to entice an audience and bring joy and excitement to the
Seymore D. Fair
Seymore D. Fair from 1984 are examples of some of the first
mascots used in the
Summer Olympic Games
Summer Olympic Games and the Louisiana World
Exposition, respectively. Dating from 1968, the city which holds the
Olympic games every two years has the job of designing a mascot that
corresponds with the culture of the country and is an icon symbol to
that of the nations values. Recent Winter/Summer Olympic games mascots
include Miga, Quatchi, Mukmuk (Vancouver, 2010), Wenlock and
Mandeville (London, 2012), Bely Mishka, Snow Leopard, Zaika (Sochi,
Vinicius and Tom
Vinicius and Tom (Rio, 2016) have all gone on to become
iconic symbols in their respective countries.
Revised version of the St. Joes Hawk
Camilla Corona SDO
Camilla Corona SDO is the mission mascot for NASA's Solar Dynamics
Observatory (SDO) and assists the mission with Education and Public
The goat mascot and
Goat Major of the Royal Regiment of Wales.
This article needs to be updated. Please update this article to
reflect recent events or newly available information. (June 2015)
Mascots are also popular in military units. For example, the United
States Marine Corps uses the
English Bulldog as its mascot, while the
United States Army uses the mule, the
United States Navy uses the
goat, and the
United States Air Force uses the Gyrfalcon.
The goat in the
Royal Welsh is officially not a mascot but a ranking
soldier. Lance Corporal William Windsor retired on 20 May 2009, and a
replacement is expected in June. Several regiments of the British
Army have a live animal mascot which appear on parades. The Parachute
Regiment and the
Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders have a Shetland
pony as their mascot, a ram for The Mercian Regiment; an Irish
Wolfhound for the
Irish Guards and the Royal Irish Regiment; a drum
horse for the Queen's Royal Hussars and the Royal Scots Dragoon
Guards; an antelope for the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers; and a goat
for the Royal Welsh. Other British military mascots include a
Staffordshire Bull Terrier and a pair of ferrets.
Royal Guard adopted a king penguin named
Nils Olav as
its mascot on the occasion of a visit to Edinburgh by its regimental
band. The (very large) penguin remains resident at
Edinburgh Zoo and
has been formally promoted by one rank on the occasion of each
subsequent visit to Britain by the band or other detachments of the
Guard. Regimental Sergeant Major Olav was awarded the Norwegian Army's
Long Service and Good Conduct medal at a ceremony in 2005.
Some bands, particularly in the heavy metal genre use band mascots to
promote their music. The mascots are usually found on album covers or
merchandise such as band T-shirts, but can also make appearances in
live shows or music videos. A famous example of a band mascot is Eddie
of the English heavy metal band Iron Maiden. Eddie is a zombie-like
creature which is personified in different forms on all of the band's
albums, most of its singles and some of its promotional merchandise.
Eddie is also known to make live appearances, especially during the
song "Iron Maiden". Another notable example of a mascot in music is
Skeleton Sam of The Grateful Dead. South Korean hip hop band B.A.P
uses rabbits named Matoki as their mascot, each bunny a different
color representing each member. Although rabbits have an innocent
image, BAP gives off a tough image. Hip hop artist
Kanye West used to
use a teddy bear named Dropout Bear as his mascot; Dropout Bear has
appeared on the cover of West's first three studio albums, and served
as the main character of West's music video, "Good Morning".
List of mascots (college, computing, commercial, sports,
public-service, television and movie, computer and video games,
Mascot Hall of Fame
National emblem, National personification, National animals
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Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mascots.
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