Mascots are an integral part of any spirit team. They help cheer on the sports teams, bring joy to the audience and entertain everybody with their silly antics. They are the representation of their school, and as such, need to present themselves as professionally as possible. With around 250 events each year and weekly cleanings, the jerseys and shorts experience a lot of wear and tear. Nobody wants a shabby-looking Mascot, so Peter Michel, Maryville’s spirit coordinator, decided to take action and start looking to buy new clothes for Louie and LJ.
Michel tasked me with designing new jerseys and contacting various mascot companies in order to obtain price estimations. The mascot suits themselves will not be changed; that is to say the head, feet, and hands will still be the same pieces. The only change will be new designs for their shorts and jerseys.
Not only will getting new uniforms make the mascots look a lot better, but it will draw more attention to the mascot team that may have been lost since the last time the suits had been remade in February 2013. It will also provide the mascot team with a choice in attire depending on the event. One outfit could be used for more casual events like games, and the other could be used for more formal events, such as the alumni banquet.
The first step in making new uniforms was deciding on a design. I drafted several ideas using Photoshop and presented them to the mascot team. The team voted on which designs they liked the most and offered ideas on how to improve them further. There were a few requirements: they needed to have “Maryville University” on them, as well as the Maryville “M.” Other than that, I was given free reign.
Once we agreed on a final design, I contacted five mascot companies in order to obtain a quote on how much it would cost to make the outfits through their company. Several companies were exclusive to only working with mascots that they had made themselves, but there were multiple companies that were willing to give us a quote. Michel had asked me to contact other companies besides Hogtown Mascots, which is the Canadian-based company that Maryville had originally ordered the mascots from. When asked why he wanted to look for other companies besides Hogtown Mascots, Michel said, “I wanted to keep the purchase to the United States to avoid customs. As for contacting so many different companies, it is always a good to get multiple quotes when deciding on a product to purchase.”
Michel says that the suits are usually remade every five to seven years, and hopes to have new jerseys and shorts purchased by this summer. Once purchased, Louie and LJ will present them at an event like Mania Night, which was where the new mascot suits were presented. “Our hope, as a mascot program, is to finalize a design and present it to multiple supervisors on campus for approval and with potential financial assistance.”