MEMPHIS, Tenn., Oct. 31, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- For as long as sports have been a part of the American culture, so have sports mascots. And yet, for all those years, the mascots have been predominantly male, with all the snarling, muscle-flexing masculine characteristics imaginable. Until now, all representations of mascots have been men, with a very few exceptions at the college level. And even then, the female mascots have merely been accessorized to show femininity.
This summer at the Olympic Games, female athletes outshone the men. There were more female athletes participating from the United States than men for the first time, and we see this as the perfect time to introduce an initiative to change the way we see female athletes and school mascots.
As a leader in a community centered on female athletes, Varsity has a sincere interest in developing athletes with confidence, self-esteem and leadership qualities. This fall Varsity, in partnership with Girl Approved, a NY-based design firm of young women, has set out to change the way young women, and the rest of the world view mascots as a reflection of strong, proud athletes.
"We see our mascot initiative as one more way to showcase the athleticism and leadership qualities of our cheerleaders," says Nicole Lauchaire, Vice President of Corporate Communications and Marketing for Varsity. "Cheerleaders are natural leaders and hold many positions in their schools and communities, from student government to fundraisers to overall role models to other students. This project launched out of our appreciation for all of the amazing things cheerleaders—and all female athletes—are capable of."
American Cheerleader Magazine has just published "Hear Them Roar," in their December issue. Readers have been encouraged to submit their own ideas for Female Mascots and the winner will receive custom-designed apparel. The story can be found at http://www.americancheerleader.com.
About Varsity Varsity is the source for all things related to cheerleading and dance team. With a rich heritage and traditions dating back to 1974, Varsity is an innovative global leader comprised of the leading spirit brands and organizations including its educational camps, clinics, competitions and uniforms to teams around the world. Varsity's National Championships, many of which are held at the Walt Disney World® Resorts, have been televised on ESPN Networks for more than 25 years. Sponsors for Varsity events include Gatorade, Degree Girl, Playtex Sport and PBTeen. Web-based Varsity TV features thousands of cheerleading and dance team videos and has become a favorite cheer destination for cheerleaders and coaches alike. Varsity has led the way in cheerleading safety as a supporter of the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators since 1987 and as a camp leader training more than 350,000 cheerleaders per year in cheerleading fundamentals with an emphasis on safety. In 2012, Varsity purchased American Cheerleader Magazine, which has showcased the cheerleading community since 1995. Based in Memphis, Tennessee, Varsity employs 5,000 employees nationwide. For more information about Varsity, please visit http://www.varsity.com.