SBD/March 20, 2013/Colleges

Back To The Drawing Board: ASU Scraps New Sparky Mascot Following Criticism

ASU fans will be able to choose the facial features for the Sparky mascot
Arizona State Univ.'s new Sparky mascot "is out already," and an online program is "being developed to allow fans to choose features for the new Sparky head and face," according to Anne Ryman of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. Fans will be able to "pick from a variety of eyes, face shapes, mustaches and goatees." They also will get to "select maroon or black horns." ASU plans to "tally the votes and reveal the winning costume at the first football game of the season on Sept. 5." The decision to "scrap the new costumed mascot and use an online vote instead comes less than a month after ASU unveiled a modern version of Sparky." Students and alumni "unleashed a stream of criticism on Facebook, Twitter and through e-mails to ASU administrators." Some alumni even "threatened to stop donating to the university." The official Sparky logo will "not change and will continue to be available on ASU merchandise." A contemporary Sparky, unveiled "along with the new costumed mascot earlier this month, will also be offered as part of a marketing effort aimed at children." ASU officials said that the Sparky "redesign didn’t cost the university any money." ASU already has a "partnership with Disney in which students give input on new product designs" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 3/20).
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