Otis the mascot gets a makeover


Matt Gad Contributor

The new Otis was officially unveiled during the Homecoming Football Game when the players came out of the locker room before kickoff.

“This was the first time I’ve seen that happen since I’ve been here,” said freshman, and football player Travis Shashok. “The new Otis looks sharper than the old one. It looks similar to the new logo.”

Last year, the athletic department launched a new logo, created by Phoenix Design Works. This year, a committee was tasked to refurbish the look of Otis mascot.

“The idea came about from the spirit committee,” Assistant Coordinator of Athletic Facilities Jay Turiano said.

Street Characters, Inc. designed the new costumes and the university ordered two suits for use at events.

The management of the entire Otis operation will become a joint effort between athletics and the university, said Associate Athletic Director of Communications Ken Sweeten.

Blue Crew, the spirit commission of the Student Government Association, assisted with this effort.

“The students thought it would be a good idea to update the mascot because of the new logo,” Turiano said.

Carter Antaya, a junior, said he was not a fan of the new look because it looks “cartoonized.”

“I just didn’t like it,” he said. “Otis is very bright now and the costume doesn’t even look like an Owl. He looks like some animated character.”

The new design is bright blue from head- to-toe, complete with a grey logo on the chest meant to match the new logo, which features bright colors and a unique interpretation of an owl.

“This looks like something all parties worked very hard on and it came out well,” said sophomore, and sport management major Tommy Knudsen. “Like with the new logo, this will definitely take some getting used to but the old Otis looked outdated and this has given it a more modern twist.”

With 2018 marking the university’s 125th anniversary, a lot of students and alumni came out to various events, including the football game.

“The energy all around was crazy,” Antaya said.“It was a great day to launch a new look for Otis, regardless of how I feel.

It can’t be disputed that a relaunch was the right thing to do.”

Like with the old Otis, the new one will continue to be around athletic events and other university functions, per request.

Photo Credit: Palmer Piana

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