Picture this: a mischievous imp with a pitchfork, an inferno in his eyes, and a grin that could outshine the Arizona sun itself. That’s Sparky-the fearless, feisty, and downright fun embodiment of ASU’s indomitable spirit. 

But what’s the story behind this unusual fellow? 

Read on to learn all about the Arizona State University mascot. 

What Is Sparky the Sun Devil? 

Sparky is depicted as a red, devil-like character with a distinctive pitchfork. The pitchfork is a symbol closely associated with ASU and is prominently featured in Sparky’s design. 

As the mascot of the Sun Devils, Sparky embodies the spirit, energy, and pride of Arizona State University. The Sun Devils compete in NCAA Division I sports as part of the Pac-12 Conference, and Sparky serves as a symbol of support and enthusiasm for the university’s athletic endeavors. 

Sparky was actually the third-ever ASU mascot. The first mascot was the owl, as voted by the students way back in 1889. At some point afterward, the school pivoted to a bulldog mascot, although bulldogs were already used as mascots by other institutions-most notably, Yale. 

The History of Sparky the Sun Devil 

The history of Sparky the Sun Devil dates back to 1946, when ASU (then known as Arizona State College) decided to choose a new mascot. 

They had the mascot designed by Bert Anthony, who previously worked at Disney. The original Sparky was a devilish character with a pitchfork. 

But, this design has evolved over the years. The first in-person appearance of Sparky was in 1951, when he attended his first ASU game. 

A major redesign occurred in the 1970s, giving Sparky a more athletic and dynamic look. This version of Sparky featured a muscular physique and a stylized pitchfork. 

Sparky underwent another redesign in the 1980s, emphasizing a friendlier and more approachable appearance while retaining the athletic elements. 

A controversy arose when ASU unveiled a new, edgier version of Sparky in 2013. The redesign was met with mixed reactions, with some expressing concerns about the departure from the traditional look. As a result, ASU decided to maintain both the new and old versions of Sparky, allowing fans to choose their preferred mascot. 

Sparky the Sun Devil at Community Events 

Sparky the Sun Devil often makes appearances at various community events, extending beyond the campus and the ASU football schedule. 

The mascot frequently participates in local parades, adding a lively and spirited element to the festivities. Parades provide an opportunity for the mascot to interact with community members and showcase ASU pride. 

He may participate in community service projects and volunteer activities. This involvement reinforces ASU’s commitment to civic responsibility and community betterment. 

If you’re interested in any of these events, it’s natural to consider attending ASU. 

Celebrate the Arizona State University Mascot Today 

The Arizona State University mascot is just one of the many amazing things about ASU. Make sure you read up on every aspect of this iconic school. 

Do you want to learn more about different universities and so much more? Make sure you read through some of our other excellent posts