The people have spoken, and a devil got a makeover. Again.
On Wednesday, Arizona State announced the results of their alumni and student poll to determine the new look of their Sparky mascot. Out of the four pre-selected options, “Option B” won the competition with 55% of the over 17,400 votes. The options were all based on the same Sparky face, with small differences with Sparky’s eyes, grin, and beard.
ASU, working in conjunction with Disney, unveiled the new look to Sparky on March 1, and this resulted in an immediate opposition to the update. In a poll on HouseOfSparky.com, over 76% of the 2,600 fans expressed their dislike of the new design. That significant rejection quickly resulted in ASU backtracking on the decision, and soon after it was announced that they would put democracy in action.
The university worked with the Sun Devil Coalition Advocacy Board, the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, the Alumni Board and Chapter Leaders, and representatives from the Sun Devil Club Board to select the four designs that would then be put to a vote. The polls were open from April 22 – May 5.
Released simultaneously with the updated mascot was a cartoon version of Sparky, intended to appeal to the younger fans in the form of apparel, comics, and animation. That iteration was unaffected and has remained in place.
Since his debut in 1946, Sparky has seen over a dozen changes to his look.