The Ute Mascot is bad business.
It is if you believe actual real life scientificy studies and such.
I wrote about this topic after I saw it late last Friday, not long after we’d just renewed our agreement with the tribe. But it was just after we found out the Gymnastics Squad wasn’t advancing to the Super Six and the Spring Football Game was the next day, so I think it was both missed and really brings something new to the mascot discussion. In light of the Utah Man controversy, I also think it’s appropriate.
Essentially the study, done by Emory University Sports Marketing (and here is a link if you wish to read it) shows that because of a variety of reasons, Native American mascots cost you money compared to if you had a conventional, say animal mascot. Further, the study says that while a change does have short term costs, long term, schools and professional teams that change make more money than if they’d kept their Native American mascot.
The most shocking one is the Washington Redskins who will leave $84 million dollars on the table by 2020 over their stubborn need to keep the Redskin name.
The study also has some interesting side facts, like how much Ralphie is worth to the University of Colorado.
Below I’ll embed the segment from Keith Olberman’s ESPN show.
I think this brings a new and interesting prospective to all of this. Whatever you think about the debate, keeping this mascot is money that the Athletic Department doesn’t receive to build facilities and take care of student athletes.
That is a big deal to me.