Winner: Benny the Bull
Chicago Bulls mascot Benny the Bull has been at the top of many panelist’s list for years and has broken through to gain the top honor in 2012. Benny has grow into the NBA’s premiere mascot with his winning combination of humor, dance, energy and athleticism. He also has effectively used social media to build a connection with his audience and extend his character with a strong on-line presence.
One panelist also noted that Benny is one of the leaders in showcasing new creative concepts.
The Bulls have done a tremendous job building Benny into a local icon and centerpiece of their on-court and community relations campaign. The video below also showcases Benny’s ability to entertain while creating a successful sponsorship moment for a Bulls’ partner, showing his ability to create value across many platforms.
Honorable Mention: Bernie Brewer
Bernie Brewer is a great example of a mascot with a purpose. The Brewers have created a strong tradition around Bernie sliding down into a keg of beer (now complete with sponsored water park-quality slide) after Brewer home runs. Beyond giving him a purpose and tradition, the Brewers have created kid-zone activities and sponorship value around Bernie as well.
Recently the Brewers have used Bernie’s social media account to promote team promotions and initiatives. His following is massive and dwarfs most mascot accounts (for example, as of Dec 2012 most NBA mascot have less than 5,000 followers, while Bernie has 25,000). His Klout score (79, Dec 2012) is equivalent to some NBA teams, which means the Brewers have created a powerful tool to connect and communicate via their mascot.
While Bernie humbly shares the spotlight with a popular quartet of sausages in Milwaukee he has certainly found his place among the top tier of mascots in 2012.
- Best of 2011 – Rocky (Denver Nuggets)
- Best of 2010 – Thunder (Lake Elsinore Storm)
- Best of 2009 – Thunder (Lake Elsinore Storm)
- Best of 2008 – Timber Jim (Portland Timbers)
- Best of 2007 – Parker (Fresno Grizzlies)
- Best of 2006 – Raptor (Toronto Raptors)
- Best of 2005 – The Coyote (San Antonio Spurs)
- Best of 2004 – The Gorilla (Phoenix Suns)
- Best of 2003 – Squatch (Seattle Sonics)/Clutch (Houston Rockets)
- Best of 2002 – Rocky (Denver Nuggets)
- Best of 2001 – Rocky (Denver Nuggets)
Also on Gameops.com
Listen to the Best of 2012 Audio Round Table discussing all the categories and winners with out panel of Cudo, Walker, Carter and Hill.
Visit The Store at Gameops.com, including t-shirt launchers, props, signs and more.
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