Having a career in costume makes the life of an NFL mascot anything but typical.
"Our office is not a cubicle. It's not inside the complex. My office is a blue, furry pretend horse costume,” Trey Mock, Colts mascot program coordinator, explained.
That's why gathering 16 of the league's furry and feathered for the annual NFL Mascot Summit is one of their most valued resources.
"We call it a little ‘fur-ternity,’” Falcons Mascot Program Coordinator Jeremy Legg said with a laugh. “But it's nice knowing that even though we might be rivals on the field, we're going through the same struggles. Everyone's getting their tales pulled, sweating it out somewhere. So, it is a brotherhood of sorts.”
With half of the franchises represented, this week is an opportunity for even on field foes to put their costumed heads together.
"We talk new business, we have presentations about how to do you form a skit, and how do you form a relationship with your sponsorship department,” Mock said.
"We're talking about how we can generate value for each one of our respective programs, how we can make more money, and be that valuable asset for our team,” Andrew Johnson, Texans mascot program coordinator, said. “We are talking about ways that we can make a difference in each one of our communities that we represent and we are talking about how we can make a huge impact on game day in each one of our stadiums. "
This is the third year in a row that Indianapolis has hosted the summit. There was previously an annual meeting of league mascots, but it had been on a two-year hiatus before mock was inspired to resurrect the program and bring the annual mascot meetings to the Circle City.
"When leadership retired, a couple of the mascots who ran it retired from the league, it was an opportunity for myself to step up,” Mock said. “We have the resources to be able to support an event like this."
And even with the brainstorming and the business chat, there's still time to get creative, including their spin on the popular “Hard Knocks” reality series, which you'll see this season.
"Not only do we collaborate and dig into each other's programs a little more to see how we can take a piece home but we also get on the creative side and get to create some storylines,” Legg added.