A mascot is a human character or an animated figure representing a particular group, especially in sports such as soccer and basketball. Today, institutions that employ mascots find them useful for entertainment, branding, and marketing. However, did you know that mascots were initially used to bring good luck to a club or group? Here are more interesting facts about mascots that will blow your mind.

1. The Term Mascot is Borrowed from the French Word “Mascotte”

Mascot comes from the French word “mascotte,” which translates to lucky charm. It was first used in 1867 and eventually popularized by a French composer, Edmond Audran. By the 19th century, this word had found its way into English and was used to refer to animals or objects thought to bring luck.

2. NBA Mascots Make Up to $625,000 a Year

While most mascots are paid little to no stipends, some, especially those representing NBA teams, can make a decent amount of money. For instance, Rocky, who represents the Nuggets, reportedly collects about $625 annually. Others on the list include the Hawks’ mascot, Harry the Hawk, and Chicago’s Benny the Bull, who earn $600,000 and $400,000 annually, respectively.

3. Microsoft Uses Anime Mascots to Advertise Operating Systems in Asia

In Asia, where Anime is popular, Microsoft uses Anime mascots to promote various operating systems. These mascots are used in ad campaigns and have interesting fictional profiles. For instance, the Windows 10 mascot is called Tōko, and she is a gaming enthusiast.

4. In Japan, there is a Mascot that Suffers from Severe Depression

In an era where the world is embracing mental health, Japan has a famous mascot known as Gudetama, who suffers from crippling depression – this character is always sad! However, even though Gudetama may “hate” the world, Japanese society loves it beyond measure.

5. Cats Were Used as Mascots in WWII

A lot of interesting things happened during World War 2. For instance, did you know that cats were used as mascots as the war was ongoing? Soldiers would carry them on navy ships for moral support and good luck. They also came in handy when dealing with rodents.

6. The University of Michigan Once Had Two Live Wolverines as Mascots

In 1927, the University of Michigan had two live wolverines as their mascots. They even had names for them: Biff and Bennie. These bad boys would be used to boost player morale during tournaments. However, because of how terrifying they were, the university had no option but to send them back to the Detroit Zoo.

7. A High School in New York Has a Headless Horseman as Its Mascot

This may be one of the scariest mascots in history. However, having a headless horseman as your mascot makes a lot of sense, especially if your high school is called Sleepy Hollow. Before every homecoming, the headless horseman of Sleepy Hollow High School would run with the football team; this act alone would attract hundreds of people.

8. The Pittsburgh Pirates Mascot Acted As a Middleman Between Players and Cocaine Dealers

Although mascots are generally associated with good luck and positive vibes, not all are known to bring the right kind of morale to sports. One such example is the Pittsburgh Pirates’ mascot and frontman, Kevin Koch. In 1985, the mascot acted as a middleman between players and drug dealers. He would sell cocaine to players on the field. And he would attend some games high on cocaine.

9. There are Summer Camps and Schools for Mascots

Contrary to what most people believe, mascots undergo professional training. Many states have mascot summer camps where enthusiasts can be trained in various skills. These mascot camps usually last for a week or two. Formal mascot schools are also available. For instance, in San Antonio, there is a professional Mascot School where you can learn everything about this art.

10. Nearly All Mascot Fights are Pre-Planned

Nothing fuels fans more than a mascot fight before the game. However, If you thought these fights were real, we’re sorry for busting your bubble. Quite often, these fights are usually pre-planned to entertain the fans. If a real fight were to break out, the school or team would have to punish the mascots.

11. Burger King Allegedly Paid $1 Million to Get Its Mascot into Floyd Mayweather’s Entourage

According to Business Insider, Burger King paid $1 million to have its mascot as part of Floyd’s entourage during his hyped fight against Manny Pacquaio. This fight had millions of views worldwide, so Burger King got the much-needed attention. It further shows how much brands are willing to invest in their mascots for marketing and advertising.

12. One of MGM’s Mascots Has Been Through Hell and Back

The lion that roars at the beginning of MGM films is real, and there have been seven of them so far. One of these 7, Jackie, has been through hell. Jackie survived an earthquake, an explosion at MGM studios, a boat sinking accident, and two train wrecks. The mascot was even involved in a plane crash and made it out. Besides being honored to serve as an MGM mascot, Jackie is so lucky to have survived all these incidents.

13. Texas A&M’s Mascot Has the Power to Order Freshmen to Sleep on the Floor

Reveille, Texas A&M’s mascot, is the highest-ranking member in the corps of cadets. Funny enough, if this dog sleeps on a cadet’s bed, they are traditionally required to sleep on the floor. This mascot is so powerful that an ongoing class session is immediately canceled if she barks. She even has her own phone that is operated by the mascot corporal.

14. Musicians Also Have Mascots

While mascots are unique to sports institutions and marketing brands, some musicians have adopted their use, too. For instance, the Iron Maiden heavy metal band has Eddie as their mascot – a zombie-like creature often carried on tours and used to promote albums or merchandise.

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Last Update: January 31, 2024