Picture of the Day: Bucky Badger

Bucky!!! Why are you so cute when holding a basketball! 😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍

Source: Bing Images


Pyeongchang Merchandise A Hit Thanks To Soohorang

Soohorang PyeongChang 2018 Superstore Entrance.png

The Pyeongchang 2018 merchandising operation is a massive hit.

With just three days remaining in the Winter Olympics, Pyeongchang 2018 officials say the two primary super stores in Gangneung Olympic Park and Pyeongchang Olympic Plaza are both averaging 15,000 to 20,000 visitors per day.

Put that into perspective: Even at the low end of that range, that works out to 30,000 shoppers per day, or 510,000 over the course of the 17-day Games — more than half the number of tickets sold to the actual sporting events (1 million).

While Pyeongchang organizers declined to share sales figures, the driving force behind the big numbers is by all accounts Soohorang, the cartoon white tiger mascot. He’s on sweatshirts, in plush toy form, the inspiration of a fleece shawl and on many other products inside the stores.

A line estimated at 90 minutes gathers outside of the store on the middle Saturday of the Games.
Long queues (up to 90 mins) outside Pyeongchang 2018 Superstore.png

Over the middle weekend of the Games, which coincided with Seollal, the Korean Lunar New Year holiday, some shoppers spent 90 minutes in line just to enter the store in Gangneung Olympic Park.

The stores double as a showcase for longtime IOC sponsor Visa, which operates the payment systems inside of the stores and promotes its new payment technologies inside.

Source: https://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Global/Issues/2018/02/23/On-The-Ground/Merchandise.aspx

PyeongChang Winter Olympics mascot Soohorang sold out online

Soohorang online.png

While global visitors may want to take home their own souvenirs of the lovable PyeongChang Winter Olympics mascot Soohorang, it may become harder to procure the stuffed tigers as they are sold out in most online shops.

A wide array of products were originally available, featuring the round-faced white tiger wearing Korean traditional costume, riding sleds, perched atop headbands, hanging from keychains and emblazoned on fluffy blankets. However, the official online store has sold out of nearly all of them as of Sunday.

Other online shops carrying the items, operated by Lotte Department Store, are also facing skyrocketing demand for Soohorang.

Stuffed Soohorang plushes range in price from 25,000 (S$30.75) won to 120,000 won (S$147.60), the most expensive one wearing a gold medal on its neck. All such products were sold out on Lotte’s online shop El Lotte and at the online Lotte Duty Free.

A few other items including Soohorang keychains, neck pillows, mugs and heating packs remain available online.

The PyeongChang Organizing Committee is not revealing the exact number of Soohorang items sold, according to its communications official. The mascot’s popularity is still palpable, meanwhile, with some 20,000 to 30,000 visitors flocking to the Olympic Super Store gift shops in Pyeongchang and Gangneung each day, the official said.

As more items are available for purchase at the Super Store than online, visitors seeking to possess their very own Soohorang plushes may have to brave the crowds at the brick-and-mortar shops in Gangwon Province.

The cheerful tiger has grabbed global attention through promotional clips depicting its cute antics and on-site cheerleading.

The plushes that the Olympic athletes receive at the venue ceremonies are those adorned with the uhsahwa, or paper flower bestowed to those who passed national exams during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910).

Only 30 of these limited edition uhsahwa Soohorang are available per day at each official Olympic goods shop.

Source: http://www.asiaone.com/asia/pyeongchang-winter-olympics-mascot-soohorang-sold-out-online

Tokyo 2020 Olympic mascots have ‘dignified inner strength’

Tokyo 2020 Mascots
Candidate ‘A’

Japanese schoolchildren have selected a futuristic-looking design for a pair of mascots for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Mascot “A”, created by designer Ryo Taniguchi, won the ballot with more than 109,000 votes. The Olympic mascot is dark blue and white while the Paralympic one in pink and white.

The Olympic mascot “has an old-fashioned charm that reflects tradition and also has a high-tech, cutting edge vibe,” according to Tokyo organisers.

“It has strong sense of justice, and in very athletic,” they said on Wednesday.
The Paralympic mascot “has a dignified inner strength and a kind heart that loves nature,” the organisers said.

Primary school classrooms across Japan were given one vote each and 200,000 at some 16,000 schools cast their ballots for three shortlisted pairs.

A series of controversies has plagued organisers of the 2020 Tokyo Games. In 2015, the original Tokyo Olympics logo was withdrawn after its designer was accused of copying it.

Source: https://thenewdaily.com.au/sport/2018/02/28/tokyo-2020-olympic-mascots-dignified-inner-strength/

Sheffield cleaning mascot Phil the Bin helps pupils to tidy city streets

Sheffield cleaner mascot Phil the Bin joined pupils and teachers from one primary school as they cleaned the street. Phil lent a hand to more than 100 children, parents and teachers from Lowedges Junior Academy for a clean up to mark UK Parliament Week. Staff from Sheffield’s Streets Ahead contractor Amey supplied bin bags and gloves and stayed to help the volunteers, later removing 30 full sacks of rubbish.

To promote pupils’ understanding of British values and the importance of democracy, Lowedges Junior Academy School Council put to the vote the local community issues causing most concern to pupils. The majority vote was litter, so school councillors decided to take action and organise a community wide litter pick, involving reception to year 6 pupils alongside parents and staff. “What a difference they made whilst having a thoroughly enjoyable time.”

Head teacher Rebecca Scutt

Streets Ahead’s street cleaning teams look after the cleanliness of Sheffield’s highways, including emptying public waste bins and providing support for volunteer litter groups wherever they can.

Last year, Sheffield’s Streets Ahead cleaning teams collected more than 5,600 tonnes of waste including litter thrown or blown onto the city’s streets.

Thanks to new double-sided bins, a good proportion of this can now be recycled as part of on-street recycling collections.

The Phil the Bin campaign encourages Sheffielders not to throw down rubbish, but to put it in one of the city’s 2,600 plus public bins, or, if possible, take it home to be recycled.

Source: The Star

Narita’s Unari-kun named mascot of 2017

Unari-kun, the official mascot of Narita City in Chiba Prefecture, defeated 1,157 rivals from localities nationwide to win this year’s Yuru-kyara Grand Prix title. Chiryuppi of Chiryu, Aichi Prefecture, and Torai-kun of Higashi-Osaka, Osaka Prefecture, took second and third spots, respectively.

Unari-kun is the special tourism ambassador of Narita, which is famous for its international airport and unagi eel dishes. In light of his victory, here’s 10 things you might not have known about Narita’s lovable mascot:

• Unari-kun’s birthday is Nov. 21, which coincidentally fell two days after the results of the vote were announced.

• He’s half airplane, half eel.

• Unari-kun lives in Narita.

• He’s originally from the planet of Unari.

• He first landed on Earth at Narita’s airport.

• He decided to stay in Narita because the city is full of fantastic places, great food and hospitable people.

• Unari-kun can get along with anybody.

• His favorite phrase is “うな” (“una“), which he often says at the end of his sentences.

• His favorite things are children in Narita, yōkan (sweet bean jelly), teppōzuke (pickled gourd), sweet potatoes, lotus roots and seasonal flowers.

• The cylindrical objects hanging from Unari-kun’s arms do not represent rolls of toilet paper but airplane engines.

Unari-kun has more than 33,500 followers on Twitter. The tweet from his official account announcing the news that he had won the Yuru-kyara award has been retweeted more than 4,900 times and has 8,400 “likes.”

Source: The Japan Times

‘War Eagle’ is AU’s battle cry, but the school doesn’t technically have 2 mascots

Auburn University has a close association with two animals, but it only has one mascot. That’s a tiger — specifically, Aubie the Tiger. Here he is:

Alabama A&M v AuburnPhoto by Michael Chang/Getty Images

You could be forgiven for thinking Auburn has two mascots, though. The Tigers’ battle cry is “War Eagle,” sometimes modified informally to “War Damn Eagle.”

Auburn also has an eagle fly around Jordan-Hare Stadium at games:

Tostitos BCS National Championship Game - Oregon v AuburnPhoto by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

It’s a big part of the team’s pregame.

The War Eagle is synonymous with Auburn, and it’s very much a part of the school’s game day experience. But it’s not considered a mascot. Auburn has never had an athletic team called the Eagles, and it doesn’t refer to the eagle as its mascot.

It’s weird that they have an animal on the field who’s not a mascot, yeah.

Georgia considers this a live mascot:

Georgia v Auburn

And LSU considers this a live mascot, though it doesn’t come to games anymore:

Florida v LSUPhoto by Doug Benc/Getty Images

Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images

But Auburn does not consider the eagle that flies around the stadium before the game to be a mascot.

“‘War Eagle’ is Auburn’s battle cry, not a mascot or nickname,” the school says.

The dictionary definition of “mascot” is “a person or thing that is supposed to bring good luck or that is used to symbolize a particular event or organization.”

I’d argue that the eagle that flies around the stadium is definitely a symbol for Auburn, but if the school doesn’t want to recognize something as its mascot, who can force it? Deeming the eagle a mascot or not is subjective, but it’s Auburn’s call.

The first eagle that flew around Auburn games was named Tiger, in case you weren’t confused enough by this situation.

Here’s how War Eagle might have become a thing.

The school offers up a few possible origins here.

1. An eagle that escaped and then flew around the stadium and died

The most popular story about the battle cry dates back to the first time Auburn met Georgia on the football field in 1892 and centers around a spectator who was a veteran of the Civil War. In the stands with him that day was an eagle the old soldier had found on a battlefield during the war. He had kept it as a pet for almost 30 years.

According to witnesses, the eagle suddenly broke free and began majestically circling the playing field. As the eagle soared, Auburn began a steady march toward the Georgia end zone for a thrilling victory. Elated at their team’s play and taking the bird’s presence as an omen of success, Auburn students and fans began to yell “War Eagle” to spur on their team. At the game’s end, the eagle took a sudden dive, crashed into the ground, and died.

But the battle cry “War Eagle” lived on to become a symbol of the proud Auburn spirit.

Sad, but inspiring.

2. An opponent named “Bald Eagle,” which fans heard as “War Eagle”

The toughest player on the Carlisle Indian team in 1914 was named Bald Eagle. In an effort to tire him out, Auburn began to run play after play straight at him. Without huddling, the quarterback would simply yell out, “bald eagle” and the Tigers would attack. Spectators mistook “bald eagle” for “war eagle” and began shouting it every time the Tigers came to the line. When Lucy Hairston scored the game-winning touchdown for Auburn, he supposedly yelled “War Eagle,” and a new Auburn tradition was born.

Weird, but could be true.

3. An eagle patch that fell on the ground in 1913

During a Langdon Hall pep rally in the undefeated season of 1913, the head cheerleader said, “If we are going to win this game, we are going to have to go out there and fight, because this means war.” At that moment an eagle emblem fell off a students military hat. Asked what it was, he reportedly shouted, “It’s a War Eagle.” The next day it became the favorite student cheer when Auburn beat Georgia, 21-7, to win the SIAA championship.

4. The Saxon warrior theory

Some say that Auburn fans adopted the “War Eagle” phrase due to its connection with Saxon warriors who used the yell as their battle cry. When buzzards would circle the battlefields, settling among the dead, the Saxons began calling them “war eagles.”

Since the first War Eagle, there have been six other birds throughout Auburn’s history which have served as the school’s symbol and kept alive the legendary battle cry. War Eagle VII (Nova) currently entertains fans with her customary flight around Jordan-Hare Stadium prior to each home football game.

At any rate, War Eagle goes back a long way — to the 1910s at the latest.

But it’s never been Auburn’s mascot, always just a really cool battle cry.