According to recent sources, the NBA’s top earners mascots make more than half a million dollars annually, which is around ten times the salary of the typical competitive mascot.
Mascots are in charge of providing entertainment for spectators during NBA games, frequently scurrying around the seats and taking the stage during the halftime show.
Five NBA mascots with the highest salaries are listed below and their pay has drawn criticism.
Highest paid NBA mascot
The mascot of the Denver Nuggets Rocky the Mountain Lion is the highest-paid mascot in the league and makes a staggering $625,000 a year. The official website of the NBA team states that Rocky’s one-hour visit costs $750, while a 30-minute visit for a birthday celebration can cost $400. Rocky earns more than 10 times the average pay of professional NBA mascots.
Rocky can meet season ticket holders for free during games; however, non-pass holders must pay $135 to see the Denver mascot.
Top five highest-paid NBA mascots
Rocky ranks first in the list of highest-paid NBA mascots followed by the Atlanta Hawks mascot Harry, who makes $600,000 per year.Benny the Bull, the storied Chicago Bulls mascot, comes in third place and earns $400,000 annually. Apart from getting paid less than Rocky, Benny surpasses Rocky in the fame game having 400,000 Instagram followers and surprising 5.3 million Tiktok followers.
Next on the list is the Phoenix Suns’ Go the Gorilla, whose annual salary is only one-third that of the Hawks’ mascot.
Hugo the Hornet, who finished fifth, receives a $100,000 bonus from the Charlotte Hornets. To put it into perspective, the highest-paid mascot earns less than the minimum pay of an NBA player (1,017,781 dollars).
HBO Real Sports’ Bernard Gulberg explained the reason why we have never seen a mascot’s real face after attending the 2010 Milwaukee Mascot Camp.
He said: “[Some] mascots aren’t allowed to show their face, or talk because at their particular [institutions] that’s against the mascot code of conduct”.