Marshall ’s beloved mascot is getting a new costume, and for the first time the responsibility of choosing his new look is in the hands of Thundering Herd fans and friends.
Beginning today through Facebook social media, Herd fans have the opportunity to determine whether Marco will keep his current design or be given a new or updated look. His current costume, after five years of extensive wear, travel, cleaning and repair, has been stretched as far as it can, so it’s time to replace it, said Matt Turner, Marshall’s chief of staff.
“There’s no doubt that Marco means a lot to our fans and alumni so we want their help to choose his appearance,” Turner said. “He is as iconic as Old Main and his public appearances extend well beyond the field, so we think it’s important to hear from them.”
All Marshall fans, alumni, students and faculty/staff are encouraged to cast their votes via Facebook.
Matt Hayes, Marshall’s executive director of alumni relations, said, “This is a great concept, a wonderful way to involve alumni and friends of Marshall who care deeply about how the mascot embodies and represents the face of the university. I’m sure the Herd nation will not be shy and will make their voices heard.”
A costume maker has provided three concepts from which the voters can choose from now through midnight Saturday, Aug. 10. They are:
Option 1: Current Marco.
Option 2: A partial makeover of current Marco. This “hybrid” version of current Marco includes returning to the hoof feet and fur-covered legs of the previous mascot costume.
Option 3: A more complete makeover. This new design more closely resembles the previous Marco with a friendlier face and bison goatee.
Aaron Goebbel, associate director of athletics for external affairs, said, “Marco represents our fans and they are the ones he is most involved with. It’s magical when Marco shows up at an event and he always wants to look his best. And we think it will be a lot of fun having the voting done on social media.”
Voting has begun on Marshall’s Facebook site – https://www.facebook.com/marshallu – and participants can vote only once. The Marco costume that receives the most votes will be announced on Facebook on Monday, Aug. 12.
Once the design is finalized, Turner said he expects the new costume to be completed in time for Marshall’s homecoming game at Joan C. Edwards Stadium Saturday, Oct. 5, against UTSA. Game time is 2 p.m.
As a reward for helping select one of the three concepts, someone will win tickets and a tailgate package for four to the first Thundering Herd football game of the season, scheduled at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31, at home against Miami (Ohio). They also will receive Marshall hooded sweatshirts.