For over 50 years, Benny the bull has served the Chicago Bulls as their official mascot. Watching a game on television might make you think that Demar Derozan or Zach Lavine act as the Bull’s main source of entertainment. A visit to the United Center would reveal that is not the case. Benny’s reputation is well known as many mascot rankings include him in the top 5. With all of this popularity, it is hard not to wonder how Benny the bull has captured the hearts of so many fans and became the best mascot in sports.
Before learning what Benny does, it is important to know who Benny is. Debuting in 1969, Benjamin T. Bull became the first mascot of any National Basketball Association (NBA) team. Throughout the years, Benny has been redesigned four times. Benny’s current physique introduced in 2004 is a slimmer version of his predecessors. Chicago made these alterations in hopes to inspire fans to live active lifestyles. Outside of Benny’s legendary lineage of sports entertainment, his extended family has also played a role in Chicago. Mascots such as Big Ben, Da Bull, and Benji have been called upon for the Bulls alongside Benny the bull.
High Flying Achievement
The aforementioned mascot Da Bull had a significant impact on the bulls franchise. Da Bull spent some time on injured reserve as he lost his tail during a practice. Once returned, it was clear that the loss of his tail had made him more aerodynamic and less likely to get caught up in the net. His signature trampoline dunk was performed until 2004 when Benny the bull took over.
Now, Benny can be found at halftime leaping through the air and throwing down ferocious dunks. Benny’s halftime performances are not limited to his amazing slams; other performances include dancing with the Luvabulls, shooting from half-court, and acting in skits. No stranger to competition, Benny will also challenge players or mascots from other teams to dance battles. Even with both teams in the locker room, fans are guaranteed to have fun with Benny on the court.
Horns and High Jinks
Not many know that Benny the bull is the reason for the saying, “mess with the bull, get a giant bag of popcorn dumped on you”.
Benny has loved pranks since his first NBA game. These tricks are liable to be played on fans or players on the opposing teams. All in good fun, fans from any team can’t help but share a laugh when watching Benny shuffle behind reporters or dance with the referees. Gameday is not the only time that Benny connects with fans.
Benny the bull can be found on a variety of social media platforms; his most popular social media account is TikTok with over 5 million followers. Benny’s videos’ success has inspired other sports mascots to create similar content. Depending on the time and type of event being thrown, Benny is available for guest appearances. Connecting with fans inside and outside of the United Center is Benny’s number one priority, which adds him to the list of the best mascots in sports.
Better Than the Rest
With all of the excitement that Benny brings to Chicago, it is no surprise that Forbes ranked him as the most popular mascot in 2013. Since then, Benny’s legacy has only grown larger. Benny’s performance has revolutionized marketing for every franchise in the NBA. Many of the other mascots in the NBA have been developed with Benny as the template. After 53 years with Chicago, Benny has transcended from the traditional role of mascot. He has become a symbol of loyalty, hope, and enthusiasm for the prideful Chicago fanbase.
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