Is It Time For a Real Bruin Mascot?

We've discussed a lot of "tradition" type topics here at BruinsNation.

Most of the time the topic of tradition usually ends up being a discussion on how Chianti and his Moron Center cronies appear to be ruining our traditions in a whole host of different ways with the two most common being "Stubs vs. Stripes/Uniform Destruction" and "On-Campus Stadium vs. Rose Bowl".

I'm here today to open up another hornet's nest -- Mascots: Joe Bruin vs. Live Bruin

We used to have a live bear mascot.

According to the Alumni Association website:

UCLA’s earliest mascots were live bears, which entertained the home crowd at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The bears were given a variety of names, but Joe Bruin stood the test of time. In 1961, alumni presented the campus with the first Josephine Bruin, a little Himalayan bear. Josephine lived in the Rally Committee chair’s backyard, until she grew too big, and was moved to the San Diego Zoo.

Costumed student mascots took over the job in the mid-1960s. Several students were selected to take turns playing Joe, who was joined in 1967 by a costumed Josephine – or Josie, as she is more popularly called today. Joe’s costumes and depiction have evolved over the years, from a Mickey Mouse-looking Bruin in the 1930s to a smiling Joe in the 1970s. The current design was unveiled in 1996.

But, what effect does having a live mascot versus a costumed mascot have on brand equity and revenue in college football?

The folks at the Goizueta Business School at Emory University have analyzed the data. The results may shock you. They discovered that, in major college football, having a live mascot has a serious impact on brand equity and revenue.

How much revenue? $8.5 million in incremental revenue compared to schools with a costumed mascot.

You read that right. $8.5 million.

That might even buy the entire Morgan Center a few dozen donuts every day of the year!

Would there be logistics/care issues that need to be addressed? Certainly. Perhaps, our bear could spend his weekdays at the LA Zoo. But, after seeing on HBO's REALSports how Colorado has a team of students who care and train Ralphie, maybe the better choice would be to house the bear at Moorpark College which has a nationally recognized zoology program. Our students could travel over to Moorpark to spend time training him there and Moorpark College's zoology program could earn some extra revenue from our Athletic Department by caring for our bear most of the time.

We've all seen the Rose Bowl intro videos where the CG bear chases the other team's mascot until the opposing mascot shrivels up because the Bruin is so ferocious. Well, perhaps, next season, in addition to playing those cute videos, we could have real bear lead our onto the field before "the next exciting home game" starts.

The research suggests that it would add quite a bit of money to the bottom line. It's time for that great money manager Dan Guerrero to take some action on this.

And, anyone who should find themselves on the field if the bear got loose only needs to remember that they don't have to be the fastest runner on the field. They just have to be faster than Chianti Dan.

<em>This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of BruinsNation's (BN) editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of BN's editors.</em>

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