How to Choose a School Mascot


Your school may be new and choosing a mascot for the first time, or perhaps your school wants to choose a new mascot to update its image. Since your mascot represents your school at athletic events and other functions, you'll want to consider your choice carefully.

Choose a Mascot to Represent Your School

  • Choose a mascot that represents the fighting spirit of your team. Mascots are often anthropomorphized predatory animals, such as bears, wolves, tigers or sharks.

  • Choose a mascot that is identified with a characteristic of your region. Rowdy, the mascot of the Dallas Cowboys, is one example, as is the Colonial mascot of the New England Patriots.

  • Select a mascot that represents a human character who expresses power, such as a king, a gladiator or a wizard.

  • Turn to history for mascot ideas. The mascot of the University of Massachusetts is the Minuteman. Other possibilities include a Trojan, Spartan, Roughrider or barbarian.

  • Have fun with a cute mascot. Since the mascot's duty is to engage the crowd and stir up energy, funny characters such as rabbits, dogs or cartoon-type creatures are very effective.

  • Be aware that in recent years, ironic mascots such as the University of California Banana Slug have become very popular.

Consider Other Factors When You Choose a School Mascot

  • Give some thought to how expensive the mascot costume is going to be. The costume for a human character, for example, will cost much less than the costume for, say, a dragon.

  • Have mercy on the performer inside the costume. This person will be extremely active, running up and down the sidelines, performing acrobatics and perhaps going into the crowd for interaction. Try to avoid choosing a mascot that will require a costume that is particularly heavy or difficult to manage.

Tips & Warnings

  • It's a good idea to involve the student body as a whole in the choice of a mascot. Have students submit their ideas, then choose several of the best to be voted on by the entire student population. Students are more likely to get behind a mascot they helped choose than one that was imposed on them by an administration or a committee.
  • Avoid choosing a controversial mascot. Many Native Americans object to stereotypical or caricature images of their people. Choosing a Confederate soldier as your mascot may very well be considered racist. You may also want to consider making your mascot not gender specific.

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