Skip to Content

How much do NBA mascots make?

It doesn’t matter what team you happen to be watching, chances are that you will end up seeing a mascot somewhere in the stands or on the court. Some of them have made quite a name for themselves in recent years by messing with fans and players of the opposite team, and others are a little quieter and just remain on the sideline. However, not many people think about how much money these mascots actually make.

How much do NBA mascots make? Every mascot receives a variety of different pay so there isn’t just one answer to this very interesting question. Although we have been able to find an average for all of these mascots together. As it stands right now, all mascots in the league make an average of $60,000 per year. I wouldn’t say this is too bad of a gig for these guys.

A lot of different mascots receive different pay for a variety of reasons and some are way ahead the rest of the pack. Let’s dive a little deeper into this topic and determine why these mascots get paid the way that they do.

RetailerPromotionCodeLink to Store
20% OffBLACKFRIDAYGo to Fanatics
20% offBLFNBA20Go to NBA Store
Free jersey to one Newsletter Subscriber each monthSign up to our NewsletterSign up to our Newsletter

If you are thinking of buying an NBA jersey, then check out the latest offers from the official NBA retailers below.

How to become a mascot for the NBA?

One of the first and most obvious questions is how a person can become a mascot for an NBA team. There are a few requirements that you must meet to even attempt to become one. You must be incredibly athletic and in shape because these guys jump through hoops and carry massive team flags. You must also be great with all types of people, after all there are about 20,000 fans at NBA games. Then you also have to be able to perform stunts from time to time in order to get the home crowd riled up and hype for the rest of the game. Finally, you need to learn some communication as a mascot without speaking, such as leaning back to represent laughing and pointing to yourself, and drawing a heart to represent love.

Who is the highest paid mascot?

The highest paid mascot is miles above the rest of the group. That title belongs to Rocky the Mountain Lion, the official mascot of the Denver Nuggets. Rocky currently has a massive salary of $625,000 per year! If you were wondering how in the world this lion makes so much money, its because he can do many stunts and tricks that other mascots can’t. For example, he has grown really good at doing behind the back half-court shots and has done some aerial stunts over the course of his time there. As a matter of fact, it makes sense that his salary is so high because he was inducted into the Mascot Hall of Fame during the year 2006. If any mascot in the league is deserving of the highest salary, it’s Rocky.

There are mascot camps?

Yes, believe it or not there are actually camps for these mascots. Even some of the most popular ones in today’s NBA have gone through the camps in order to hone their skills as a mascot. These camps include a number of different things, such as teaching you how to dance, do tons of different skits, and communicate in a non-verbal way. Mascots will also learn valuable safety tips while inside the mascot suits so that they are always prepared for whatever comes their way. If this is a career path you want to go down, you have to be careful. Bango the Buck, the mascot for the Milwaukee Bucks, had endured a serious injury years ago which included torn ACL’s and a busted ankle. The Toronto Raptors mascot also ruptured an Achilles tendon while doing a backflip many years ago. There may be risks, but they are something that these mascots have to sign up for while performing at such a high level for so many people.

What are some other top paid mascots?

Obviously, the mentioned mascots aren’t the only top paid mascots in the league right now. There are seven other notable mascots that get paid on their respective teams. Starting off with Harry the Hawk, the Atlanta Hawks mascot. Harry apparently makes around $500 an hour during games! The Charlotte Hornets mascot Hugo the Hornet triples that but it isn’t per hour, instead earning $1,500 per appearance. Somebody did the math and found out that Hugo hauls in around $100,000 per year as a salary. Moving onto Benny the Bull for the Chicago Bulls, he is actually second in the league in total earnings and if you have ever seen highlights of him, then you would know why. He commands a massive $200,000 salary right now and is well known for being around since 1969.

If you ever get yourself any spare time, I would recommend looking up some videos regarding Benny, he is always messing with fans and getting a ton of attention during games. Then we have Moondog, the Cleveland Cavaliers mascot, who makes $300 per hour during each game he appears in. The Oklahoma City Thunder’s Mascot Rumble the Bison makes six figures per year as a salary due to earning $650 per hour. Also, he earns $400 for specific 30-to-40-minute visits at different places. The Gorilla, the Phoenix Suns mascot, gets $200,000 annually, though not as much as Benny. This mascot is actually played by Bob Woolf. Woolf has performed as the Gorilla in over 1,200 total NBA games and even has a gymnastics school nowadays. He is one of the few mascots that we actually have an identity for at the moment. Finally, we come to the Houston Rockets mascot, Clutch. He is one of the most popular mascots due to his design and lovable nature earns over $100,000 annually. To put all of these insane salaries into perspective, the current average salary for an American is just $45,000. These mascots aren’t just doing these things for free; they are paid an insanely high amount.

Sign up to our newsletter, for your chance to win an NBA jersey

Each month we choose one lucky winner, who can spend up to $150 on a jersey of their choice. 

*T&C's apply please see here for detail

You have Successfully Subscribed!