Study: Teams with Native American mascots end up losing millions

Native American sports mascots have sparked protests, and a recent study indicates such mascots also may negatively affect team revenues.

Matthew Emmons/Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

If negative public opinion about Native American mascots can’t dissuade pro sports teams from using them, then maybe a study about the money they’re losing because of those mascots will change their minds.

Just how much? It’s apparently in the millions of dollars, according to research from Emory University.

"But that’s a drop in the bucket," Dr. Manish Tripathi, one of the professors behind the study, tells Quartz. "And it’s a one-time cost. Meanwhile, if you think about the impact they’re taking from Native mascotry — the damage to brand equity, the subsequent reduction in pricing power — well, in that context, a one-time hit like that is just not a big deal. And there’s a flip side to that as well: You might actually see an increase in sales."