SBJ/July 22-28, 2013/Franchises

A look inside some of the companies that make the costumes

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More than two dozen companies are involved in producing and maintaining the hundreds of mascot costumes across professional sports. SportsBusiness Journal contacted each team in the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB, as well as each MiLB ballclub above the rookie league level, and asked: Who makes your suits?

Following are some of the firms that have notable stakes.

Alinco
Headquarters: Salt Lake City
Founded: 1961
Website: alincocostumes.com
Key executives: Lowla Allen, director of marketing; Jill Palmer, vice president of operations; Kevin Wasden, vice president of creative services
Clients: Approximately one-quarter of the big league clubs, with half the NBA, including the Memphis Grizzlies (Grizz); four MiLB teams
Of note: Created the San Diego Chicken in 1974 for promotional use by San Diego rock ’n’ roll station KGB-FM.

FiberWorks
Headquarters: Phoenix
Founded: 1982
Website: fiberworks.us
Key executives: Donna Nagel and Joe Turnbough
Clients: 13 big league clubs spread across all four leagues, including the Houston Rockets for costumes for Clutch since his creation in 1995
Of note: Work includes three cardinals: NFL Arizona, MLB St. Louis and Class AA Springfield (Mo.)

International Mascot Corp.
Headquarters: Edmonton and Atlanta
Founded: 1983
Website: internationalmascot.com
Key executives: Joel Leveille, president; Brendan Watson, general manager of operations
Clients: Nine big league teams, including the Oakland A’s (Stomper)
Of note: Also provides the characters for the Home Depot Tool Race at Atlanta Braves games, as well as Toothy, Bristles and Fresh, the dental-themed racing mascots for the Colorado Rockies.

Olympus Group
Headquarters: Milwaukee
Founded: 1893
Website: olympusgrp.com/Mascot-costumes.htm
Key executives: Brian Adam, president, large format digital graphics and character costumes; Dawn Rolison, marketing director; Dan Ward, vice president of sales
Clients: Biggest player in MiLB, with more than 30 clubs, including the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (Fang), Sacramento River Cats (Dinger) and Richmond Flying Squirrels (Nutzy, pictured).
Of note: Best known for the Milwaukee Brewers’ Racing Sausages.

Raymond Entertainment Group
Headquarters: West Grove, Pa.
Founded: 1999
Website: raymondeg.com
Key executives: David Raymond, emperor of fun and games; Randy Carfagno, sultan of silly
Clients: Two big league clubs, including the Tampa Bay Lightning (ThunderBug); eight MiLB teams
Of note: Company founder Raymond was the original Phillie Phanatic. His company makes fewer costumes now than in its early days, serving more as a mascot and team branding consulting group.

Scollon Productions

Headquarters: White Rock, S.C.
Founded: 1968
Website: scollon.com
Key executives: Rick Scollon, CEO; Ellery Locklear, president
Clients: Nine big league clubs, including the Carolina Panthers (Sir Purr)
Of note: All of its current big league clients are in the NFL or NHL, but Scollon also works with a dozen MiLB clubs.

Street Characters
Headquarters: Calgary
Founded: 1984
Website: mascots.com
Key executives: Glenn Street, president; Aubrey Fishman, director of marketing; Shae Motz, concept graphic artist
Clients: 19 big league clubs, including the MLB Texas Rangers (Captain), and approximately one-quarter of the NFL; nine MiLB clubs
Of note: Founder Glenn Street performed as the first mascot in the NHL: Harvey the Hound for the Calgary Flames.

Vee
Headquarters: Minneapolis
Founded: 1980
Website: vee.com
Key executives: Dayna Deutsch, senior vice president of sales and marketing; Jim Waters, senior vice president of production; Jack Pence, general manager, production services, costumes and creatures
Clients: Nine big league clubs, with at least one in each of the four big leagues, including the NHL Minnesota Wild (Nordy)
Of note: Generated additional exposure this summer by building a 12-foot-tall likeness of Mutual of Omaha-sponsored golfer Fred Funk on the grounds of that sponsor company’s headquarters to welcome the U.S. Senior Open to Omaha, Neb.

Note: Of the 122 big league teams, 20 do not have mascots. The New Orleans Pelicans, who are in the midst of replacing the team’s previous Hornets identity, have not yet selected a mascot provider for their new character.
Sources: Mascot company websites, MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL teams
Compiled by David Broughton, Brandon McClung and Stephanie Brown


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