Sports mascots earn 6 times more than teachers and police officers

Publish Date: 01/31/2024
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

Recent research by The Grueling Truth uncovered something surprising: being a sports mascot can be more profitable than you might think.Contrary to conventional expectations, some sports mascots are outearning professions traditionally associated with higher salaries, such as police officers, teachers, firefighters and journalists. According to our study, the highest-paid mascot in the United States is raking in an astonishing $625,000 annually! In stark comparison, the highest salary for a public school teacher stands at $93,000 in the US, police officers earn $132,930 per year (highest salary), firefighters can earn up to $86,963, while a reporter can earn $115,000 per year.

NBA mascots

Mascot salaries can vary widely, often influenced by factors such as the mascot’s popularity, the team’s budget, and their responsibilities. Highest paid mascots are in the NBA league. Leading the pack as the highest-paid sports mascot is Rocky the Mountain Lion, the iconic figure representing the Denver Nuggets, boasting an impressive annual income of $625,000. Following closely is Harry the Hawk, the spirited representative of Atlanta, earning a substantial $600,000 yearly. Benny the Bull from Chicago Bulls secures the third spot with a yearly salary of $400,000, while Go the Gorilla, the mascot of the Phoenix Suns, takes home a praiseworthy $200,000 annually. Wrapping up the top five earners is Hugo the Hornet, the charismatic mascot of Charlotte, who commands a respectable paycheck of $100,000 per year. Stay updated with the latest NBA news and stories.

MLB mascots

Wally the Green Monster, the beloved mascot of the Boston Red Sox, claims the title of the highest per-game earner among MLB mascots, commanding an impressive $250,000, securing his position as the highest-paid mascot in Major League Baseball. On the flip side, a group of MLB mascots, including Mariner Moose (Seattle Mariners), Ace (Toronto Blue Jays), Stomper (Oakland Athletics), and Swinging Friar (San Diego Padres), find themselves at the lower end of the salary spectrum, earning $65,000 annually.

NFL mascots

Rowdy, the mascot of the Dallas Cowboys, commands an annual salary of $65,000, a fitting compensation for representing ‘America’s team’ in the NFL. Following closely, Pat Patriot (New England Patriots) holds the position of the second highest-paid mascot in the league, now matching Rowdy’s earnings at $65,000 annually. In the third spot is K. C. Wolf, the official mascot of the Kansas City Chiefs, secured an income around $65,000, while San Francisco’s Sourdough Sam, with an yearly income of $60,000 are in fourth place. Despite the fact that NFL mascots earn less than their counterparts in the NBA and MLB, it’s evident that the salary for NFL mascots is still notably high. For more on NFL news, delve into the latest updates and stories.

For the NHL, unfortunately, the exact salary for their mascots is not publicly available. But, according to several sources, the average NHL mascot salary is between $65,000 and $70,000, plus benefits. Some of the well-known NHL mascots are Gritty (Philadelphia Flyers), Slapshot (Washington Capitals), Youppi! (Montreal Canadiens), S.J. Sharkie (San Jose Sharks), Wild Wing (Anaheim Ducks), etc.

Super Bowl’s mascot’s magic

The race for the 2024 Lombardi Trophy is down to two teams, with the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers winning Sunday to advance to Super Bowl LVIII, which will kick off Feb. 11 from Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. However, it turns out the true winners of this season are the famous mascots K.C. Wolf (Kansas City Chiefs) and Sourdough Sam (San Francisco 49ers). While the teams battle on the field, these iconic mascots emerge as champions in their own right, earning $65,000 and $60,000 annually, respectively. If you want to read more about sports mascots news and updates, visit US Sports News.

Average salaries comparison

Mascots usually start in the minor leagues, where they get around $25,000 to begin with. But if they become mascots for NFL, NBA, MLB, or NHL teams, their average salary goes up to about $65,000. For contrast, the average salary of a teacher in the US is $57,671 as of December 27, 2023, a police officer $63,600, a firefighter’s average salary is $65,886, a reporter’s $56,748, etc. Some top mascots even earn six figures as full-time employees, showing up at every home game (usually 41 NBA or NHL games, or 81 MLB games). They also make money from appearances at events. Others, working as contract employees, earn bucks from game performances and outside gigs.

What does it take to be a sports mascot?

Mascots need strong physical skills, like dancing and acrobatics, and the ability to engage with fans while in costume. Sport mascots have important jobs at games. They entertain the crowd, do fun activities during breaks, and bring energy to the team. Besides just being playful, many mascots are symbols of the team, representing its identity and values. They’re not just there to make people laugh – they play a key role in creating a sense of community and team spirit among fans. So, while mascots might seem like they’re all about fun and games, they’re actually important figures in the world of sports, adding a special touch to the team’s story.


To gather information on mascot earnings, we conducted a comprehensive search across various online platforms, aggregating data from diverse sources. Notably, our research included information from Boardroom TV, a media network founded by Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman. For professional salaries, we referred to, a reputable online platform providing salary data specific to the United States.

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