The Air Force is enlisting the services of West Grove resident David Raymond, otherwise known as the original Phillie Phanatic, to help develop a mascot that will interest children in a flying career, writes Howard Altman for the Tampa Bay Times.
Raymond wore the now-iconic, fuzzy-green costume until 1994. Now, he runs Raymond Entertainment, which designs mascots for sports teams and corporations.
Air Force athletic teams use a falcon as their mascot, but the Air Force wants to use a new mascot to inform the public and emphasize its education and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) initiatives.
“We are pursuing innovative ways to connect with schools,” said Air Force Col. Christopher Karns, “to improve education and inform students about possibilities in the Air Force.”
The process is still in the early stages, and it will take a lot of thought and a good back story, said Raymond, who became the first Phanatic during his time as an intern for the Phillies.
The Air Force decided to go with Raymond Entertainment to take advantage of the Phanatic’s connection with audiences.
“Philly sports is known as a tough crowd, yet the iconic Phanatic resonates,” said Karns.
Read more about the Air Force and the Phillie Phanatic in the Tampa Bay Times here.