The Info List - Mascot

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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
General Mills
brand of breakfast cereal, Trix.

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 Technology Museum.

In the world of sports, mascots are also used for merchandising. Team mascots are often confused with team nicknames.[1] 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.


1 History 2 Etymology 3 Choices and identities 4 Sports mascots 5 Corporate mascots 6 School
mascots 7 International mascots - Olympics and World Expositions 8 NASA
mascot 9 Military
mascots 10 In music 11 See also 12 References 13 External links

History[edit] 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[2] Etymology[edit] 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
Edmond Audran
who wrote the opera La mascotte, performed in December 1880. [3] 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.[2][3] Choices and identities[edit]

This article contains weasel words: vague phrasing that often accompanies biased or unverifiable information. Such statements should be clarified or removed. (March 2009)

of the Borregos Salvajes
Borregos Salvajes
and student at the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, Mexico City.

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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 established.[4] In the United States, controversy[5] 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.[6] 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.[7] 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 Bowl.[8] 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 mascot BJ Birdie
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. Sports mascots[edit]

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 (post-secondary) 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
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 costume.[9] In the United Kingdom some teams have young fans become "mascots". These representatives sometimes have medical issues, and the appearance is a wish grant,[10] the winner of a contest,[11] or under other circumstances. Unlike the anonymous performers of costumed characters, however, their actions can be associated with the club later on.[12] Mascots also include older people such as Mr England, who are invited by national sports associations to be mascots for the representative teams.[13] Corporate mascots[edit] 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.[14]

Auntie Annes Pretzel Mascots

mascots[edit] 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
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[edit] 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 Olympics festivities. Sam and 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, 2014) and Vinicius and Tom
Vinicius and Tom
(Rio, 2016) have all gone on to become iconic symbols in their respective countries.[15] NASA

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 Outreach (EPO).[16] Military
mascots[edit] Main article: Military

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
English Bulldog
as its mascot, while the United States
United States
Army uses the mule, the United States
United States
Navy uses the goat, and the United States
United States
Air Force uses the Gyrfalcon. The goat in the Royal Welsh
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.[17] 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
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. The Norwegian Royal Guard
Royal Guard
adopted a king penguin named Nils Olav
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
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. In music[edit] 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
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". See also[edit]

Car mascot Fursuit List of mascots (college, computing, commercial, sports, public-service, television and movie, computer and video games, political parties) Lucky charm Mascot
Hall of Fame National emblem, National personification, National animals Totem Costume


^ "Marc's Collection of Mascots: Introduction". Halcyon.com. Retrieved 2017-03-01.  ^ a b "Mascots". Fisu.net. Retrieved 2016-05-17.  ^ "Where Are You From? - Credo Reference". Search.credoreference.com. Retrieved 2017-03-01.  ^ "Pittsburg State Gorillas". Pittsburg State University.  ^ "ESPN.com - Dick Vitale - NCAA mascot, nickname ban is confusing". go.com.  ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 December 2016. Retrieved 15 March 2017.  ^ "Uni Watch: Time to rethink Native American imagery in sports". ESPN.com.  ^ "Photographic image for 'Education Fail'". 2.bp.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2017-03-01.  ^ Brown, David (27 January 2012). "Photo: 1908 Cubs protect their mascot's back". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 30 January 2012.  ^ Halewood, Simon (6 July 2011). "Wimboldsley couple celebrate after grandson walks tall with England heroes". Crewe Chronicle. Retrieved 14 July 2011.  ^ "Brazil Mascot
Competition". The Scottish Football Association. Glasgow UK: The Scottish Football Association Ltd,. 2011. Archived from the original on 14 July 2011. Retrieved 14 July 2011.  ^ McDermott, Nick (14 July 2011). "Ex-England mascot stabbed to death on last day of Greek holiday with friends was attacked in row over laser pens shone at motorists". The Daily Mail. London UK. Retrieved 14 July 2011.  ^ "Six Nations: Scrum V meets England's biggest fan - their mascot". BBC Sport. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2017-03-01.  ^ "All-time Best Corporate Character Mascots Patents & Patent Law". IPWatchdog.com Patents & Patent Law. 2013-02-11. Retrieved 2016-05-17.  ^ "History of Olympic Mascots 1968-2014 - Photos & Origins". Olympic.org. Retrieved 2016-05-17. [non-primary source needed] ^ Sample, Ian (2012-04-23). "Nasa mascot Camilla hits the stratosphere". the Guardian. Retrieved 2016-05-17.  ^ "Retiring army goat's new zoo home". BBC News. 20 May 2009. Retrieved 5 January 2010. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mascots.

Database - the searchable team name database List of Free and Open Source software mascots Benefits of Brand
Mascots in Business Benefits of Mascot
Designs in Brand
Recognition Unique University Mascots and The History Behind Them at