I’ve decided to write an edition of the mascot amendments yet again. In my first series of suggestions, published in March of 2019, I outlined how Kaboom! lacked a fitting costume, and recommended a slimmer version as a way for him to be more interactive with the crowd.
In this article, I will build on top of the foundation I laid out in my original suggestions. And these are merely my opinions, of course. Whether you agree or disagree with the suggestions, we can both agree that there is nothing wrong with improving our unique mascot.
You may be in the camp of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” but I am in the camp of “Give the people what they want.” Let me explain.
Kaboom! caught a big break after being ranked number one out of all 68 NCAA basketball tournament teams last year by Charles Curtis of the website For The Win USA Today. So if the people want more Kaboom!, give them more Kaboom!.
It’s time for the Bradley athletics marketing department to implement a new mascot. And no, I’m not talking about a squirrel, or a lion or something else that some people still wish the mascot was.
I’m making the declaration that we don’t need one Kaboom!, not two Kaboom!s, but three Kaboom!s.
Let me introduce the concept of adding Mrs. Kaboom! and Kaboom! Jr.
Mrs. Kaboom! could sport the pink bow on her horns and red lipstick, similar to that of the classic Ms. Pacman look.
But if we really want to make a statement, let’s live in the moment. It’s 2020, for goodness sake! Let’s dress her in a pants suit with a CEO attitude. In this scenario, Kaboom! may be the famous one, but we all know who the breadwinner is. Mrs. Kaboom! can show up to any women’s athletic events spreading a message of women empowerment and inspiration. We can call her Lydia, after Bradley’s founder, Lydia Moss Bradley.
You’re going to tell me a little girl won’t look to a gargoyle in a pantsuit as career inspiration? I’ll respond back with “How do you know? Have you tried it?”
And of course, there’s Kaboom Jr., who will be affectionately known as KJ. Will he be two feet shorter than the regular mascots? Of course! We’ll implement a program where local kids can volunteer to be KJ as well. Will he have a helicopter hat? Of course!
Finally, a mascot that children can call their friend rather than their nightmare (if I were a child, I’d be afraid of Kaboom!; I don’t know about you). KJ will operate in the stands as his size makes it easy to navigate seating and tight aisles. Have Kaboom! come to you in the form of cute Kaboom! Jr.
So why invest in adding two more mascots to the signature mascot we have now?
Because Kaboom!, a midmajor mascot, caught major national fame, and it’s time to capitalize on the recognition. It’s rare for schools to have mascot families, and Bradley can be a trailblazer.
If we’re going to go down that road of being the school that has the gargoyle mascot, then let’s own it and double (or triple) down. Think of the potential photo ops and videos. Imagine the marketing ploys for family weekends or when local kids attend the women’s basketball game for Field Trip Day.
Think of the many more additions of Kaboom! to come: Grandpa Kaboom! who sports bifocals, a cardigan and cane; College Kaboom! who dons a Bradley letterman jacket, has a full head of hair and tosses around a football; or Weird Uncle Kaboom!, who wears a Hawaiian shirt and likes fireworks.
Could you imagine College Kaboom! showing up to the Welcome Week Block Party? He’d be a hit! Possibilities are endless, and, to save money, the athletics department doesn’t have to invest in separate costumes but add-on props.
To round up, the chance to increase the exposure and likeness of Bradley’s mascot is the avenue of strategy to take. Kaboom!, I think, is misunderstood. If we only had a sense of who he was and who his family is, then I think we would come to appreciate the gargoyle he is.
With that, I say two more, please!