A good mascot can become as much a part of team branding as the choice of team nickname or jersey colours. Victoria teams have had some notable mascots, from the old Mad Viking of UVic basketball infamy to the durable Marty the Marmot, currently cheering on the Victoria Royals of the WHL.
The Victoria HarbourCats have unveiled the mascot for their inaugural West Coast League baseball season, which begins June 5 at Royal Athletic Park.
But the whiskered, cap- and sneaker-wearing cat doesn’t yet have a name.
That’s where the team hopes the fans come in. A name the mascot contest begins Sunday and runs until Feb. 24. Fans can enter by emailing their name, age, address and daytime phone number to email@example.com, with HarbourCats listed in the subject line.
Entrants should explain in 50 words or less why they chose their name entry. The winner will receive two season tickets,with two runner-up prizes of 10-game ticket flex packs.
Entries will be evaluated, and the winning name selected, by HarbourCats team staff. The HarbourCat mascot designer, Aardvark Mascots of North Hollywood, California, was given simple instructions, said team general-manager Holly Jones: “Make him approachable and fun. “We don’t want to scare the kids,” added Jones.
“Sometimes the temptation is to go fierce with the mascot. But the friendlier the better for us. This is an incredibly important milestone for us. The mascot is the personification of the product, especially to younger fans.”
Jones is a graduate of the University of Oregon, where the Ducks’ famous team mascot is Puddles.
“Puddles doesn’t wear pants, either,” quipped Jones, referring to the HarbourCat mascot’s similar lack of trousers.
The WCL features U.S. collegiate NCAA players in wood bat summer ball.
There are seven MLB draft picks on the HarbourCats’ 32-player roster with 12 of the Victoria players from schools ranked in the NCAA 2013 pre-season top-25 poll.
The HarbourCats will play a 54-game inaugural 2013 regular season in the WCL, with 27 home dates from June 5 to Aug. 11.
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