Today: ASU alumni can vote on new Sparky mascot

Today: ASU alumni can vote on new Sparky mascot

By Sara Wright. CREATED Apr 22, 2013

TEMPE (KGUN9-TV) - Heads up, Sun Devil alumni! We know you're out there, even if you don't like to admit it in Wildcat country.

Starting today, you vote on the new Sparky mascot. ASU officials decided to go with a vote after the university unveiled a markedly different costumed character, resulting in an instant backlash. Some compared the new Sparky to the Honey Nut Cheerios bee crossed with Buzz Lightyear.

Others thought he looked like a villain. ASU’s Undergraduate Student Government wanted the new costume banned from sporting events.

Less than a month later, ASU nixed the new costumed mascot. The ASU community would decide instead.

This time, the Sparky with the most votes wins. An official announcement is expected on May 7, two days after the polls close.

Initially, the university planned to reveal the choice at the Sept. 5 season-opener football game. Intense interest pushed up the timeline.

“We decided it was more important to let people know right after the vote rather than drag it out,” ASU spokeswoman Terri Shafer said.

The furor over Sparky’s appearance underscores how passionate people get over college mascots.

The mascot represents tradition. Small tweaks go unnoticed. Big changes can set the stage for a barrage of criticism and a possible blow to the bottom line. In ASU’s case, some alumni threatened to withhold donations.

Details on choosing Sparky’s costume

Who can vote? ASU students, employees, alumni, season-ticket holders, Sun Devil Club members and donors.

When did voting begin? 12:01 a.m. today.

When does voting end? 11:59 p.m. May 5.

How many times can a person vote? Once.

How do you vote? Click here.