NBA mascot salary: How much does a mascot in the NBA take home on average?

NBA mascot salary: How much does a mascot in the NBA take home on average?

Netizens have always asked what the NBA mascot's salary is. Surprisingly, these individuals earn more than you could ever imagine, even out-earning some players, raising concerns among some fans. However, their role is unique and demanding, and some teams have special terms for their mascots. Read on and discover how much NBA mascots take home.

NBA mascot salary
Harry the Hawk, of the Atlanta Hawks, entertains fans during a game against Cleveland Cavaliers at Phillips Arena. Photo: David E. Klutho
Source: Getty Images

What does an NBA mascot do besides entertain the fans during a game? The NBA teams have different engagement terms for their entertainers or court hype masters, as some have called them. Most are involved in marketing activities outside the basketball court, contributing to their earnings. Find out the NBA mascot salary for various squads.

NBA mascot salary

Mascots participate in all their team's home games, about 41 each year. Out of the 30 NBA teams, only four do not have mascots. These include:

However, the Giants and the Nets previously had them before they discontinued their services. Here is everything you should know about the NBA mascot salary in 2023.

Average NBA mascot salary

NBA mascot salary list
Chicago Bulls mascot, Benny the Bull, during the game against the Charlotte Hornets on April 8, 2022, at United Center in Chicago, Illinois. Photo: Jeff Haynes
Source: Getty Images

Despite the individual teams defining the terms with their masked professionals, the NBA mascot average salary is approximately $60,000 annually.

NBA mascot salary list

Some teams have gained popularity for paying their mascots above the average rate. These individuals enjoy enviable perks and benefits for their role. Here are some of the top NBA team mascot salaries:

Denver Nuggets

You might wonder, who is the highest-paid NBA mascot? Rocky, the Mountain Lion, of the Denver Nuggets, is the top-earning mascot. The NBA Nuggets mascot salary is a whopping $625,000 annually. Rocky has held this position since 1993.

Besides his appearances at Nuggets' games, the top NBA mascot earner charges roughly $750 for a one-hour visit. For private events like birthday parties, interested fans pay $400 to have him at their event.

Atlanta Hawks

average NBA mascot salary
Atlanta Hawks mascot Harry the Hawk hypes the crowd before the game against the Orlando Magic at State Farm Arena on October 21, 2022, in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo: Todd Kirkland
Source: Getty Images

Harry the Hawk is Atlanta Hawk's mascot, making $600,000 annually. He charges $500 for special appearances and is the team's head of Community Relations on and off the court. These added responsibilities contribute to his overall pay.

Chicago Bulls

Benny the Bull, the Chicago Bulls mascot, is among the most famous in the NBA. His annual salary is $400,000, and he has been part of the crew since 1969.

Phoenix Suns

The Phoenix Suns mascot, Go the Gorilla, takes home an estimated $200,000 annually. He has served the team since 1980 and has grown to become one of the famous mascots in the National Basketball Association.

Charlotte Hornets

Hugo the Hornet was created in 1988 and is Charlotte Hornets' mascot. Previously, he worked for the New Orleans Pelicans (between 1988 and 2013). He joined the Charlottes in 2014. The yearly salary for the NBA mascot is an estimated $100,000.

NBA mascot salary vs WNBA

NBA mascot salary 2023
Rocky, the Denver Nuggets Mascot, performs the "Nutcracker Ballet" during the game against the Dallas Mavericks on December 26, 2004, at Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. Photo: Garrett W. Ellwood
Source: Getty Images

Some individuals have expressed concerns about the NBA mascot salaries being higher than some top players in the WNBA (Women's National Basketball Association). For example, Rocky's NBA mascot salary is significantly higher than Diana Taurasi's, whose annual pay is $224,772, according to her contract with the Phoenix Mercury.

The payment disparity reflects the value that some teams place on their mascots or because of the additional roles they play to enhance team partnerships and marketing efforts.

How do you become a mascot for the NBA?

While several people might think that a mascot's role only involves entertaining fans, these individuals must have some special skills. First, you must be physically fit to move around the court quickly.

Secondly, mascots should have minimal ball-handling skills to make trampoline dunks and shoot from outside the court. Most teams advertise mascot vacancies and train the selected candidates according to their team's guidelines and regulations.

Rocky NBA mascot salary
The Denver Nuggets mascot before the game against the Miami Heat at Ball Arena on December 30, 2022, in Denver, Colorado. Photo: C. Morgan Engel
Source: Getty Images

Some teams require specific professional and academic qualifications so that enlisted candidates can take up additional roles. Ensure you find out the team's requirements before attending the auditions so that you stand a better chance of getting the job.

The NBA mascot salary conversation has sparked the interest of several fans globally. The individuals, who hardly disclose their faces and official names, have a unique role in the court, ensuring fans are entertained and maintaining relationships between the team and other stakeholders.

READ ALSO: When and how do NBA players get paid?

Sports Brief published the facts and details of how NBA players get paid. The NBA annual salaries amount to approximately $1 million. So, how do the athletes get paid?

Besides their salaries, the players make money from media contracts, ticket sales, and merchandise. They are paid bi-weekly during the regular season. Click on the link above for details of their salaries and payments.

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