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ASU is not changing the official image of Sparky. It will continue to use the iconic 1946 drawing on facilities, banners, and on merchandise and apparel. An updated contemporary version of the character will be used in comic books, children’s books, animated films, and on merchandise and apparel designed to reach younger audiences.
“Sparky is one of the best-loved mascots in collegiate athletics,” said Rocky Harris, senior associate athletic director for external relations. “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 university is developing an online program that will enable members of the Sun Devil community to pick the features of the costume’s head and face. For example, the program is expected to offer a choice between maroon and black horns, different sizes and shapes for the eyes, face shape choices that include a less prominent chin, and options for the moustache and goatee. All features offered will be consistent with the identity of Sparky.
The online program is planned to be available from April 22 to May 5, 2013. The university will notify students, alumni, season ticket holders, donors, faculty and staff for whom it has current email addresses when the program is available.
Sun Devils will be asked to choose their preferred features and submit their selection to the university. Each person will be able to vote once. The university will tabulate the results and reveal the fans’ choice for the costume on Sept. 5, 2013, at the first football game of the season. If there are close calls between some of the features, the university may present a set of three to five combined images for final review and selection.
Sparky’s costume has been updated more than a dozen times since 1946, when a Disney artist named Berk Anthony drew the original character.
Terri Shafer, email@example.com
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