It all gets real on Saturday in Los Angeles. Let’s take a quick look back before Austin becomes Major League.
Last week Austin FC rolled out a spicy media release and an in-person event at an almost-complete McKalla Place, billed as a mascot announcement. Many were likely ready to pounce and troll The Oaks for adopting a new fuzzy and larger-than-life attraction for kids and casual fans.
Austin FC turned those fears away when they announced Austin Pets Alive! as their partner, and a new adoptable pup at each match as the “mascot.” Rescue dogs are some of the most popular pets around these parts, but before we dive fully into that, let’s look at some history.
Here in Austin, the Aztex 1.0 efforts did as much to embrace the American sports experience as they could. They didn’t quite get to the level of full-on cheerleaders with pom-poms and megaphones, but we have heard it was under consideration. In the mascot department, they tried to connect Texas spice to England’s most famous band, giving us… “Sgt. Pepper.” Yes, that lovable red pepper (or apple, or tomato, depending on who you asked) wandering around in the club’s Stoke-City-esque red stripes. Thankfully Aztex 2.0 chose a different route, and Sgt. Pepper has not seen the light of day in many years.
Violet Crown Verdict on Sgt. Pepper (and most of the Aztex 1.0 owners’ legacy): two thumbs down
As for our Texas rivals, from an earlier MLS era, their mascots have a traditional, kitschy relevance. FC Dallas has “Tex Hooper”:
And in Houston they have Dynamo Diesel:
Violet Crown Verdict: Bless their hearts
Now with supporting rescue dogs, we are full sail on this one (if not sailing with the Captain). A partnership with Austin Pets Alive! is marketing genius, and a great boost to a beloved local nonprofit. Let’s hope that a partnership with Captain Morgan Verde Rum ends with an exciting Designated Player, not just more cash for the FO.
Violet Crown Verdict on Austin FC’s honorary “mascots”: Two paws up