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11 Things You Didn’t Know About Sparky


Football season will soon be in full swing, which means Sparky will soon be donning his uniform and getting the crowds going. We figured we might as well get to know the guy before we make him do a bazillon push-ups in the inferno

11. ASU has seen several mascots
Previous ones include an owl, a “Normal” (whatever that is) and a bulldog.

10. Sparky was elected
In 1946, the student body of 1,015 students voted for the bulldog to be replaced by the Sun Devil.

9. Sparky has a birthday coming up
November 20, 1946 was the official day that ASU’s mascot became the Sun Devil, which means that Sparky will be turning 69 in a few months. Get your mind of the gutter!

8. His features might look a little familiar
Disney illustrator and ASU alumnus Bert Anthony designed Sparky in 1948 and there are rumors that he drew inspiration for the facial features from his well-known boss.

7. Sparky and Tyrion Lannister have something in common
Sparky is technically an “imp,” and more specifically a mischievous imp. We like to think him and Tyrion would be great drinking buddies.

6. Hoops started it all
He’s best-known for his football appearances now, but the men’s basketball team was the first to win a game as the Sun Devils in 1948 and therefore launched Sparky on his lifetime of victory.

5. The original Sparky had a personal touch
Dick Jacobs was the first person to sport a Sparky costume in 1951. The costume was sewn by a cheerleader’s mother.

4. There are actually four Sparkys
Sparky is always represented by four different students and they are numbered according to ability and experience: Sparky No. 1, Sparky No. 2, etc. Good luck finding out who they are, though. Sparkys are sworn to secrecy!

3. That costume is very, very, very hot
Sparky may look like he’s got his stuff together, but if it’s 110 degrees outside, it might as well be 150 degrees in the costume.

2. …And expensive
Each costume costs approximately $4,000.

1. Sparky takes a tumble
Because of his svelte suit and relatively small costume head, Sparky can still perform several tumbling moves during games. Because of the size and bulk of most other college mascots, he’s one of the few.


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