March 18, 2013

ASU to engage Sun Devil community in mascot costume update

Posted: March 18, 2013
Sparky
The 2012 version of the Sparky mascot costume stands with the recently announced 2013 model.
Photo by: Andy DeLisle / Composite by: Chris Wahl

Arizona State University will ask its students, alumni, sports fans, faculty and staff to share their thoughts regarding the updated mascot costume that will make its debut at this fall’s first football game.

The university released an updated version of the costume for its beloved mascot, Sparky the Sun Devil, on March 1. Since that announcement, the university has received feedback from some of its constituents about the design of the head and face of the mascot costume.

ASU is not changing the official image of Sparky. It will continue to use the iconic 1946 drawing on facilities, banners, and on merchandise and apparel. An updated contemporary version of the character will be used in comic books, children’s books, animated films, and on merchandise and apparel designed to reach younger audiences.

“Sparky is one of the best-loved mascots in collegiate athletics,” said Rocky Harris, senior associate athletic director for external relations. “The university is proud that so many people are passionate about him. We have listened and now we want to give members of the Sun Devil nation the opportunity to provide their input on some of the costume’s features.“

The university is developing an online program that will enable members of the Sun Devil community to pick the features of the costume’s head and face. For example, the program is expected to offer a choice between maroon and black horns, different sizes and shapes for the eyes, face shape choices that include a less prominent chin, and options for the moustache and goatee. All features offered will be consistent with the identity of Sparky.

The online program is planned to be available from April 22 to May 5, 2013. The university will notify students, alumni, season ticket holders, donors, faculty and staff for whom it has current email addresses when the program is available.

Sun Devils will be asked to choose their preferred features and submit their selection to the university. Each person will be able to vote once. The university will tabulate the results and reveal the fans’ choice for the costume on Sept. 5, 2013, at the first football game of the season. If there are close calls between some of the features, the university may present a set of three to five combined images for final review and selection.

new and old sparkySparky’s costume has been updated more than a dozen times since 1946, when a Disney artist named Berk Anthony drew the original character.

Media contact:
Terri Shafer, terri.shafer@asu.edu
(480) 965-3865 direct line
(602) 363-2318 cell