If At First You Don't Succeed: ASU's Sparky Gets Another Makeover After Online Vote
Arizona State Univ. yesterday revealed the results of an online vote to choose its new mascot costume, "after fans protested an earlier version" chosen by the school, according to Ryman & Smith of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. The new “people’s choice” Sparky “isn’t identical to the current one but is perhaps the closest of the four choices offered voters.” The new Sparky has “gone through teeth lightening,” and the eyes are “larger, the dimples less prominent.” He still “sports a mustache and keeps the distinctive eyebrows that resemble a Nike swoosh.” The online vote drew "more than 17,000 people" over the last two weeks, with the winning option receiving 55% of the vote. ASU allowed "students, employees, alumni and donors pick a new costume from four choices.” While none of the choices ASU provided “was the same as the current Sparky," it is clear that people “have a fondness for the current costume.” The new Sparky is “expected to debut at the start of the fall semester.” The official image of Sparky, the “iconic 1946 drawing, will not change and will continue to be available on merchandise” (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 5/9). The AP’s John Marshall noted the “decision to introduce the upgraded Sparky online was geared toward driving traffic toward Arizona State's Twitter and Facebook pages.” It also was “probably a wise choice considering the vitriol that followed the initial attempt” (AP, 5/8).