The Big East’s new mascot, a blue-and-yellow-haired man with a white beard, will wear the green and gold hoops and caps of the conference as part of a move to better connect with fans.
The league said it will start in the spring and make it available to all teams for the season.
The mascot, called Mitch, will be the first since a cartoon bear in 2014 who is based on a dog.
The Bears had been rumored to be considering a mascot based on the animal in the past, but the league said in a statement Tuesday that it’s not a part of the Big East.
The mascot will be part of the Big East’s mascot competition in the fall, league officials said.
The competition will pit teams from four schools from across the country in a series of mock games.
It is expected to last three weeks.
Teams from Ohio State, Kentucky, West Virginia and North Carolina have already been selected for the competition.
Bears fans will be able to watch the mascots play on TV by wearing the Green and Gold uniforms of the league, and by using their smartphones and tablets.
The players will also be able use their phones to watch video clips of the games.
The Big East was formed as part the league’s expanded television package in 2017, but has struggled to attract fans, according to sports industry analyst David DiFilippo.
“You could make the argument that there are a lot of people who are really looking for something different from the traditional model of college sports,” DiFanson said.
“That doesn’t necessarily mean it will work, but that doesn’t mean that the Big 12 is going to be able or will be successful.
The Big 11 is the only conference that’s really done a great job at that, and the Big 11 had a good deal of success.”
The Big 12 announced plans in August for the mascot competition, but not before a backlash over the team’s mascot.
The mascot was announced in a letter from Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, who called it a “great, but misguided idea” that was “unacceptable.”
“I would be lying if I said that I was not disappointed in the idea,” Bowls by the letter said.
In the letter, Bowls said the mascot is a “proper and appropriate representation” of the Bears.
The NCAA has also criticized the mascot, saying that the name is “unconscionable” and a “disturbing and derogatory” reference to the team.