Gritty's Popularity Reaching Well Beyond The Sports World
The Flyers' new mascot Gritty has been the "most talked-about character in the NHL this season," but the mascot's notoriety has "extended beyond the bounds of the hockey world," according to Kevin Allen of USA TODAY. Gritty has appeared on "The Tonight Show," and "was the subject of a skit 'Conan.'" Gritty also "was mentioned" on "Last Week Tonight" and "Saturday Night Live." Homemade Gritty costumes, for "children, adults and dogs, were hot in and around Philadelphia on Halloween" and "Gritty-carved pumpkins were also in style." Flyers Marketing Dir Sarah Schwab said the hype surrounding Gritty "hasn’t died down" since the mascot was unveiled in September. She said, "The first couple of days after we unveiled him, it blew up. It was an onslaught. And it really hasn’t slowed.” Flyers VP/Marketing Joe Heller said, "There was always hope that he would be well-embraced but obviously this is bigger than we would have guessed." The Gritty project was a "couple of years in the making, launched because Flyers officials recognized they were missing out on a marketing opportunity." Mascots are "popular, usually making about 250 appearances per year." Now there is "no sign whatsoever that Gritty’s popularity is subsiding." Based on requests, Schwab said that Gritty "could be booked solid for multiple events a day if that is what the Flyers wanted" (USATODAY.com, 11/7).