Howl ranked among top mascots in the nation
Published: Thursday, January 24, 2013
Updated: Thursday, January 24, 2013 18:01
Arkansas State’s own big, red, fun-loving mascot, Howl, competed at the Universal Cheer Association Mascot Nationals in Orlando, Fla. on Friday and finished ninth in a field of 10 mascots competing for the title of best mascot in the country.
Assistant Athletic Director for Marketing and Promotions Gleen Hart said he thinks Howl’s accomplishment gives ASU more publicity.
“It is an honor to have Howl recognized with some of the top programs in the country,” Hart said. “It helps achieve additional exposure for the athletic department and brand recognition.”
To qualify for the competition, Howl had to submit a video showing off his skills.
The two-minute video consisted of crowd involvement, cheer, band and dance integration, community service, and game situations.
The video counted for only half of the total score with the remaining 50 percent coming from the skit performed in Orlando.
Howl and the other nine mascots were selected from a beginning pool of 25 video entries.
In addition to Howl, the other competitors included: Auburn University’s Aubie, University of Minnesota’s Goldy Gopher, as well as the mascots from Wisconsin, LSU, Colorado, Tennessee, Iowa, Michigan State, and Ohio State’s Brutus Buckeye.
To make the skit interesting, each mascot comes up with a centralized theme. Last year, Howl’s theme was “Pop,” including things like soda pop, lollipop, king of pop, etc.
“This year’s theme was ‘Howl Goes Camping.’ All skits usually include music, pop culture references and pokes fun at other mascots,” Howl said.
The judges scored each skit in the areas of creativity, animation, crowd involvement, prop usage, and overall impression.
Howl showed off his big personality and took home the 9th place trophy, beating out University of Tennessee’s Smokey.
Howl was pleased with his performance despite a slight budget disadvantage for him compared to other schools.
“To be competing amongst some of the best programs in the nation with a fraction of the budget compared to what other schools have, I was excited about the outcome,” Howl said.
Although this years Nationals are in the books, Howl plans to ensure himself a spot in next year’s competition by preparing now.
“I have to hit the ground running with getting video at all sporting events,” Howl said.
His greatest quality is easily his energy and spirit. According to Hart, Howl is definitely a fan favorite.
“We are extremely proud of him. This is the result of his hard work and dedication. He has truly been an asset to the athletic department,” Hart said.
Below are Howl's entry video and a recording of his performance at the competition.