TEMPE, Ariz. — After the unveiling of a new Sparky the Sun Devil mascot earlier this month caused significant backlash among students and alumni, Arizona State announced Tuesday it will let fans vote on changes to the mascot.
“Sparky is one of the best-loved mascots in collegiate athletics,” senior associate athletic director for external relations Rocky Harris said in a release. “The university is proud that so many people are passionate about him. We have listened, and now we want to give members of the Sun Devil Nation the opportunity to provide their input on some of the costume’s features.”
The release indicated it will ask students, alumni, fans and faculty to help alter the redesigned Sparky mascot revealed in a press conference March 1. The mascot featured an updated outfit, but it was a modernized head that drew the most criticism.
Now, through an online program, ASU fans will be able to help pick the features of the mascot head. The program, which will run from April 22 to May 5, is expected to include voting on the color of Sparky’s horns and the shape of his face, eyes, chin, mustache and goatee. Students, alumni, Sun Devil Club members, season ticket holders, donors, faculty and staff are all eligible to vote.
Results of the fan voting are to be revealed on Sept. 5, the day of ASU’s 2013 football opener against Sacramento State.
The Sparky mascot has been updated more than a dozen times since the iconic logo was drawn in 1946 by Disney artist Berk Anthony. While a new illustration of the logo was also revealed March 1, ASU has no intention of replacing the Sparky logo itself. The new Sparky logo will be used in comic books, children’s books, animated films and on select merchandise.