While any big trades are still yet to be seen, the Thunder will have a new member on their roster tonight as they unveil its mascot (a bison) at halftime. And according to The Oklahoman, when the character’s name is announced, it won’t be long before it’s synonymous with Oklahoma City’s NBA team. We just hope he fares better than THIS guy.
“It’s an entity, a living, breathing extension of your brand,” Dave Raymond said. “Your fans grow to know them like a best friend or a family member. Because of that relationship, they associate that brand with your product.”
Fans best knew Raymond as the person inside the Phillie Phanatic costume for 16 years at baseball games in Philadelphia. He now runs his own mascot company and developed the Mascot Hall of Fame.
That’s how far mascots have come.
Mascots have been around for decades on college campuses, but it was Raymond and Ted Giannoulas, the Famous Chicken, who turned mascots into a staple at pro sporting events.
With 81 of the 92 Major League Baseball, NFL and NBA teams having a mascot, they often see more PT and photo ops than guys on the bench, attending between 300 to 400 functions a year. And with that come bank. For example, the Phillie Phanatic generates approximately $500,000 a year in merchandising, which is about 8 percent of the Phillies in-park sales.
What is your favorite mascot of all-time?
Source: The Oklahoman