How Much Money Do NBA Mascots Make?

nba mascots salary

NBA mascots earn salaries ranging from $22,000 to over $100,000, depending on experience, with the highest-paid mascot making $625,000 per year. Despite the entertaining nature of their job, mascots also play a critical role in team promotion and community engagement, contributing to their worth in the NBA industry.

Have you ever wondered how much people get paid to wear a costume and entertain the spectators? When you attend one of thrilling high-energy NBA games, it’s not a new thing seeing the tigers, lions, and even chicken characters entertaining the crowd. Although they seem all fun and cheer, these professional NBA mascots do make a big impact on the game. From pumping up the energy and vibe of their team to agitating the opponents, there’s more to an NBA mascot than the comic entertainment it provides and now we are going to discuss NBA mascots salary.

So what is an NBA mascots salary? Is it worth the sweat and stamina amusing crowds in hot and fuzzy costumes? How much do they actually earn under that heavy uniform?

What Is NBA mascots salary?

Before jumping into the details, let’s just provide a short answer to the question – what is NBA mascot salary? An NBA mascots salary can range from $22,000 to over $100,000 depending on the person’s experience. It doesn’t sound like a bad profession, right?

It is an open secret that professional sports games yield a generous amount of money. NBA is one of the professional leagues where salaries are remarkably high. Of course, salaries depend on different positions and employees. Take NBA mascots for instance. They are one of the permanent employees in the teams. An NBA mascots salary is not fixed and may vary from team to team and more importantly, on experience.

Is an NBA mascots salary a good deal? When we look at an inexperienced NBA mascots salary, it could be around the $22,000 range, give or take some dollars. Now, the average salary in the US is somewhere around $45,000. So it is twice more than the lowest NBA mascots salary. But an experienced NBA mascots salary can be much higher compared to the average US salary. In fact, it can be five times more than the average salary. Most of these high-earning NBA mascots have an experience as the team’s mascot for more than ten years and know their roles inside out.

While a beginner will have to work his way up the salary ladder, once he reaches an experienced level, he could earn five times the amount an amateur mascot earns. An experienced NBA mascots salary is a matter of envy. Why? Because you not only get to earn a good sum dancing and entertaining, but you also get to assist a professional NBA team.

If you don’t already know, the highest paid mascot in the history of the NBA is Rocky, the mascot of Denver Nuggets. With more than ten times the salary of other NBA mascots, this NBA mascots salary is a whooping $625,000 per year. Rocky is also an inductee to the Mascot Hall of Fame in 2006. So, even as a mascot, being an employee of the NBA do pay heavily and comes with it’s own perks.

Why Do NBA Mascots Make Good Salary?

Given the seemingly easy job of entertaining the crowd, a good question is ‘why do NBA mascots make good salary?’ We often only acknowledge what we see and not what goes on behind the scenes. On the surface, the work of a mascot is to amuse the crowd, hand out souvenirs, do some athletic stunts, and take photos with fans. But there is more to just the fun and cheer in being a mascot.

Generally, a mascot has to be present in every game, both away and home. A good mascot should be able to ease the tension on the court during a tough match by delivering fun entertainment to the spectators. Because a mascot’s costume can be heavy and stuffy, it would take a great deal of stamina and tolerance to go on dancing around spreading merriment.

Every NBA team is different. Therefore, both the requirements and the NBA mascots salary will differ from team to team. Some teams embrace the idea of mascots and generate good salary while some might require proof on the importance of mascots in a game to raise their pay.

Aside from the entertainment NBA mascots provide at the games, they are also the ambassadors of their teams and the NBA as a whole. From creating and uploading promotional videos on social media to taking part in various charity events, a mascot’s job is never really over.

History Of NBA Mascots

Mascots have been an integral part in the tradition of sports. It is so common in sports that we don’t really even know what a mascot actually means. For your information, the term mascot means lucky charm. I bet you didn’t know. Mascot is derived from ‘mascotte,’ a French word. The term was long used by ancient people to describe something that brings luck. So, the main concept behind the idea of a modern mascot is to bring luck upon the particular team it belongs to.

Another thing about mascots you probably don’t know is that before these fictional costumed characters, mascots came in the form of real live animals. This is to bring a sense of difference on the game while inciting fear upon the opponents. But thankfully, today we have evolved into a new era where it is those three-dimensional mascots that entertain us.

Now when we look into each NBA team, they all have different mascots of different names and characters. But how do they come up with the intention of choosing the particular character and name?

If you think a team links their mascot’s name with the city they are from, you are right. Most teams do base the names of their mascots in relation to the historical or cultural aspects of their particular city. There are some teams who name their mascots based on the first city the team started out as part of the NBA. Again, if you think a mascot name is just randomly picked, you are right again. Some teams’ mascot names don’t really have anything to do with the city nor the history. They are just picked because maybe they sound good and appealing.

But no matter what the names are or which team they belong to, mascots will be mascots. Even if it is a giant chicken or a mountain lion or a bug, the role of the NBA mascots are much the same. A mascot needs to be athletic to keep up with the rest of the crew and entertain the audience with stunts during halftime.

He must be acquainted with ball shooting. He must know how to provide quality entertainment to the crowd even if it means making a fool of himself. After all, the most important work of a mascot is to create an unforgettable experience.


As you can see now, an NBA mascot salary depends on a few factors. The experienced mascot enjoy good salaries while the novice will need to progress further to get a better paycheck. Aside from an NBA mascots salary alone, a mascot is usually backed by amounts of money which makes it more encouraging for all the mascots.

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