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Small Business Makes Big Mascots

Growing up in the South, I have been ingrained with the idea that football is king and that next to a loved one’s birthdays and holidays (not by much though) the kickoff to football season is to be circled on calendars- not to be missed. 

Recognizing the importance and reach of football, UPS recently announced a significant expansion to its college sponsorship program.  UPS is teaming with IMG College, the Pac-12 and the Big Ten conferences to reach college sports fans in top markets across the country.  The significant multi-year agreement provides UPS a national footprint with local reach through sponsorship opportunities with 68 IMG university partners across the country.

Along with outstanding athletic traditions, these schools all have a mascot.  Who doesn’t love a cute and cuddly mascot to hug and get a picture with on game day?  Did you ever wonder who makes these game day staples?

UPS small business customer AvantGarb, led by Jennifer Smith, creates customized mascots.  Jennifer and her nine employees are based inIndianapolis making one-of-a-kind mascot uniforms for sports teams, product launches and corporations all over the world.

Smith, the self proclaimed “Queen of Fuzz,” says “it takes 150-to-250 hours to make a mascot … we make everything, we draft the patterns for the body, clothes, shoes & hands, we sculpt the head, dye the fabric, paint the eyes and make really big mascot hats.”   AvantGarb produces 30-50 mascots per year.

Smith chose UPS for later pick-up times, online tracking and the ease of declaring the value of the shipments above $100.00.  “I go online, print a shipping label and it tells me when the shipment will arrive.”  She also favors seeing the immediate charge when shipping, which leads to quicker customer billing. 

Wally WabashJennifer’s group has recently completed a modern makeover of the mascot for Wabash College known as Wally Wabash.  Jim Amidon, Director of Public Affairs and Marketing Secretary of the college, says:  “Her team brought a new creative spark to the project and we are thrilled with the results.”

Take a moment next time you are at the stadium of your favorite team and the mascot comes by, get a picture and maybe a high five all while thinking, ‘hey, now I know somebody that creates those!’

Category: Business Insights
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    Comments [5]

  1. Wow! Thanks! We do a lot of shipping & receiving. I’m glad UPS has our back!

  2. great post.avant garb is amazing.

    • Furrealz? That’s maverlously good to know.

  3. What a wonderful business—the mascots made by avant garb are absolutely fantastic. So great to see creativity at work!

  4. I miss the old Wally.

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