Famous Mascots: Fred the Red
When it comes to mascots, most of the ones that come to mind right off the bat are those associated with North American sports teams or North American products. Think McDonald’s, M&M’s, the Philly Phanatic, the Energizer Bunny, the Kool Aid Man; the list goes on and on. These are all easily recognizable characters that clue people in right away to what they are selling or promoting.
England’s premier soccer teams (and some not so premier) also have mascots, although they are not as widely known on this side of the Atlantic. The one that comes to mind most easily, and the one who has won Best Mascot for football clubs a few times since his reign began is Fred the Red, and he supports the popular Manchester United Football Club.
Manchester United, for those who don’t know wear red as a primary colour in their uniforms, or kit as they say in Britain. They also go by the nickname The Red Devils, so Fred the Red, obviously is a red devil of sorts, though he’s not as scary as you may presume given his name and colour, he’s actually quite appealing and somewhat fluffy to boot.
Fred the Red wears a red (what else?) Manchester United jersey with the number 55 on the back. He has a shiny red face with plush red hair, arms and legs and his main task is to dance for the rabid football fans before the games, or matches as they are called across the pond.
Like with North American mascots, Fred the Red has his likeness on everything from keychains to plush likenesses, lunch boxes, books, T shirts, posters and much, much more and he is a key marketing tool for the club.
It just takes a photo of a mascot or a drawing of what a mascot should look like for your team or club to get the ball rolling on some marketing opportunities of your own. Imagine going to your next event armed with boxes full of mascots ready to be handed out as giveaways or sold to make some money for your cause. Mascots can be anything your heart desires, any colour, any size and with any accessory you can think of, just start with a picture and let the friendly folks at Custom Plush Innovations do the rest!
Famous Mascots: The Philly Phanatic
Arguably one of the most recognizable sports mascots of all time is the big furry green creature that goes by the name The Philly Phanatic. He is large, he is green and he loves the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team. You can find him at all home games where he entertains the crowd and also at community events where he works in public relations for the team. He is hard to miss as he is, well, fluffy and wears large sneakers and a Phillies shirt that has a star on the back. He’ll be the one dancing on the dugout or making fun of the opposing team, full of vim and vigor and always making the fans happy.
The Philly Phanatic has been with the team since 1978 when the owners thought they needed something like the San Diego Chicken to add to the baseball going experience. In his official bio, we find that he hails from the Galapagos Islands and of course he is the biggest Phillies fan of them all, but how could he not be?
When you think of sports mascots there are a few that immediately spring to mind, and Philly Phanatic is one of them, most likely because he doesn’t look like anything in particular, he’s not a baseball, not shaped like a bat and really has nothing to do with baseball at all. Instead he is a green monster like Muppet type creation that certainly has resonated with fans of all ages and across baseball itself. Bottom line is you don’t have to live in Philadelphia to know who the Phanatic is. He is even in the Mascot Hall of Fame, being a charter member of the elective club of famous mascots.
So how did he get so popular? Well, his antics for one, but also the marketing. In Philadelphia you can find Philly Phanatic everything and his likeness is on things from lunch boxes to T shirts. Marketing is key for all mascots and if you have a mascot that you want to get into the public eye, why not make his or her likeness to use as a fundraiser or giveaway?
Making a custom plush is easier than you may think, all you need are photos or drawings of your mascot and the rest is taken care of by the friendly folks at Custom Plush Innovations. They will lead you through the process and before you know it, like the Philly Phanatic your mascot may be a marketing success!
Mascots: Mr. Clean
When you think of mascots that are forever linked to a brand a few names come to mind. There’s the Kool Aid Man, Ronald McDonald, the Energizer Bunny, the M&M’s and oh yes, Mr. Clean. None of these mascots are real of course– although there have been a few actors over the years who have played Mr. Clean on television commercials—but we all know who they are, and most importantly what they represent.
When it comes to brand mascots, the owners want everyone to know instantly what they are selling. Mr. Clean has been around since 1958 and has always looked the same, bright white shirt and pants, smiling face, kind eyes, muscular build, bald head and a tan to show off that bright white shirt. He ‘looks’ clean to anyone that sees him and he ‘looks’ powerful like he can clean anything properly the first time, as he looks no-nonsense and able to handle anything. What better image could Procter and Gamble have come up with than Mr. Clean selling their cleaning products? Well, apparently nothing since he’s looked much the same for all these years. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it, right?
Mr. Clean came into being when a ship cleaner and his friend came up with a better and less corrosive, chemical filled way to clean the grime and grease off of ships. If the cleaner was more user friendly then they could stop paying for worker’s disability claims and workers would be happy and a lot safer. When an artist drew the Mr. Clean man for the first time, people assumed he was a sailor because of his start on ships. Others think Mr. Clean is a genie of some sort because he is magical when it comes to cutting through grease and grime.
Today we see Mr. Clean in a wide range of television commercials and also gracing the package labels of the cleaners in his line. The jingle remains the same as does the character and it is the longevity which has made him and the products household names.
If you have a mascot that you would like to market, how about creating a custom plush of him or her? It’s a lot easier than you think and the friendly people at CanaBears are with you from first design right through to the finished product. All you need is a sketch to get things going. What are you waiting for?
Mascots: Al the Octopus
Mascots are very popular in baseball where the likes of the Philly Phanatic, Mr. Met or Paws can be seen at each of their teams’ home games. Hockey teams have mascots too, though they sometimes aren’t as obvious especially when you think of the Detroit Red Wings and the fact that they have an octopus as a mascot.
Why an octopus you may ask? Well, back in the day when there weren’t that many NHL teams, you only had two best of seven series to determine who would win the Stanley Cup. That’s 8 wins, four each round. An octopus similarly has eight tentacles, one for each needed win. Back in 1952 a couple of brothers who owned a fish market in Detroit came to a playoff game with octopi to throw on the ice, the team won 8 games in a row to win the Stanley Cup, a feat so rare that it must have had something to do with the octopus—right?
Fast forward a few decades and the octopus tradition continues. It’s technically illegal to throw anything on the ice during games, but the octopi always find their way onto the ice anyway. It’s tradition after all.
So why is the giant purple octopus that graces Joe Louis Arena at playoff time named Al? He’s named after Al Sbotka who is the one in charge of heading out onto the ice to pick up all of those sticky octopi after each playoff goal. Seems fitting, and Al always takes his job seriously, whipping them around over his head as he heads off the ice, which always elicits a cheer from the crowd.
In today’s NHL teams have to win a total of 16 games to claim the Stanley Cup. That’s 4 rounds of best of seven series. Octopi have 8 tentacles, so that’s why there are two Al’s that adorn the rafters at games these days.
While most mascots have people in the suit, Al is the other kind, the non-human sort but that doesn’t mean that he’s not marketed. Quite the opposite is true, fans can buy Al stuffies, Al stickers and posters, Al T shirts and much much more. He is as synonymous with the team as the players for he is the symbol of the playoffs and the race to the holy grail of hockey, the Stanley Cup.
If your team has a mascot, why not market him or her like Al? It’s easy to get started and the friendly folks at Custom Plush Innovations are there every step of the way to bring your mascot ‘to life’.