As companies work to build stronger brands, they must ensure their brand is expressed consistently across all touchpoints. What better way to bring a brand to life than through a mascot.

Gritty, the new mascot of the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team, is a ridiculous looking, bright orange, oversized, Muppet inspired character with an already blue check-marked, verified account on twitter and more than 136 000 followers. Revealed to the world in September of 2018 and with no more than 100 tweets to his name, he has showcased his personal and unique humour, endearing him to Flyers fans and foes alike in mere weeks.

Here’s what I love about Gritty:

  • How can you miss him? Brands always find it challenging to break through and be noticed. Not Gritty.
  • He’s ‘on brand.’ The Flyers have always been a gritty, rough and tumble team with some edge. Bobby Clarke, one of the greatest hockey players and captains of all time, played his entire professional hockey career with the Flyers from 1969 to 1984. No one could fight like him.
  • Gritty has a voice. Literally. Check out his Twitter account at @GrittyNHL. He’s engaging and he shows up everywhere. He engages in fun smack talk with the other NHL mascots.
  • He is controversial. Love him or hate him, he inspires notice and debate. Polarizing isn’t always a bad thing.
  • He’s bold. We are living in dystopian times and Gritty is no wallflower.
  • Philadelphia has a diverse range of citizens. Gritty helps the team tap into that spirit of the city.
  • Brands everywhere are embracing Gritty. He’s been on Jimmy Fallon. He has a Bristol PA brewery giving him his own beer label named Nightmare Fuel.

With fame comes brand appropriation that isn’t on brand. Gritty has been called a Bolshevik. Gritty has shown up in political rallies. There are memes showing Gritty everywhere, even in the movie Deadpool. I am confident Gritty can deflect this brand appropriation with his trademark gritty charm.