Do NFL Mascots Earn More Than NFL Cheerleaders?

Steve Bush By Steve Bush, 3rd Nov 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Sports>Team Spirit

NFL mascot salaries start at $23,000 for a professional football season that usually extends from August to December — and a few weeks longer with playoffs and the Super Bowl. Many fans would argue that the National Football League woefully underpays both mascots and cheerleaders.

Salary of an NFL Mascot

Professional sports teams offer diverse employment opportunities beyond those for active players. Some of the most visible and colorful jobs involve serving as the mascot for NFL teams. Examples include Poe for the Baltimore Ravens (also Edgar and Allan until 2008), Steely McBeam for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Gumbo for the New Orleans Saints and Sourdough Sam for the San Francisco 49ers. Mascots in the National Football League earn from $23,000 to $65,000 annually — bonuses are usually paid for events such as the Super Bowl. Some mascots participate in special events throughout the year. A few teams such as the New York Giants and Green Bay Packers do not currently have a mascot.

Better Pay Than Cheerleaders

Some other visible positions such as NFL cheerleaders currently earn much less than mascots. For example, the cheerleaders for the Oakland Raiders and Buffalo Bills recently reported that they effectively earn under $5 per hour when all of their required activities are taken into account — about $3,000 for an entire season. Earlier this year, one group of cheerleaders received a legal settlement (from the Raiders) over their pay level. One reason that NFL mascots are better paid than cheerleaders is that most mascots are categorized as employees while cheerleaders are classified in a seasonal amusement category that is exempt from minimum-wage laws.

Your Career Path as a Mascot May Vary

For anyone wondering how to become an NFL mascot, a successful career path often involves good timing, personal initiative and networking. Turnover among NFL mascots is low — it is not unusual to find individuals serving as a mascot for 20 years or more. However, most holders of these coveted positions also have another job on a full-time basis. Since the National Football League plays games during weekends and weekday evenings, it is usually practical to juggle mascot duties and a separate career.

Withstanding All Conditions

NFL mascots are asked to perform under conditions that can be trying at times. The mascot attire can change the effective temperature from 80 degrees outside to 120 degrees inside the costume. The mascot for the Baltimore Ravens compares the heat issues to performing aerobics inside a sauna. Some sports mascots lessen the wear and tear by sharing job duties with another person. Additional unusual challenges include intentional and unintentional assaults by players and fans, unpredictable weather in outdoor stadiums and injuries due to work conditions.

Silence Is Golden

The official and unofficial “job code” for NFL mascots limits your ability to speak while you are in costume. If you are hired as an NFL mascot, in many cases you will not be permitted to publicly reveal your identity. Much like professional actors, mascots are asked to play a role and stay in character throughout the performance.

Here is a short video that provides an appropriate closing note about how the National Football League treats its mascots and cheerleaders:

Introductory image provided under End User License Agreement to Stephen Bush.


Mascot Salaries, Nfl Cheerleaders, Nfl Mascots, Sports Mascots

Meet the author

author avatar Steve Bush
Steve Bush is a business finance consultant and writer. He served in the military as an officer in the U.S. Navy Supply Corps. Bush obtained an MBA at the University of California, Los Angeles.

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author avatar tafmona
8th Nov 2014 (#)

a nice post, keep writing my good friend

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