Tennessee Soybean Festival Mascot - Super Soy
About the Festival
The Tennessee Soybean Festival has been a growing tradition in the City of Martin, Tennessee for 27 years. The festival started out with the partnership between the University of Tennessee at Martin and the city and the strong agricultural department at the University. Soybeans were becoming increasingly popular, so the city was trying to celebrate agriculture while also celebrating the bean.
The City of Martin started conversations around developing a mascot for the festival in 2018 and ended up designing a bean mascot just in time for the opening of the 2019 festival. Since the soybean can be considered a “super” bean with all of its different uses, they decided to name the festival mascot “Super Soy”.
Designing the Soybean Mascot
One of the struggles that came with the design of Super Soy was making a soybean recognizable, fun, interesting, and approachable at the same time. The soybean itself is not anything illustrious to look at and is actually really tiny, so transforming the soybean into a bean mascot costume posed a challenge.
One of the drawbacks of the costume, like all mascot costumes, is the limited mobility for the performer inside. Arm movement and balance is limited, which makes it crucial for Super Soy to have a handler at all times. Despite the movement limitations, the City of Martin loves the way Super Soy looks and is happy with the condition the costume stayed in throughout the festival.
Creating Memories with Super Soy
Throughout the festival, Super Soy walked around the festival grounds interacting with guests. The main use of Super Soy was to pass the time and keep people happy and entertained while they were waiting in line for food, rides, or other things.
Festivals are happy places for people: a time to get away, relax, enjoy, and celebrate. Super Soy added to the flare of the festival by creating smiles, laughs, photo opportunities, and memories for guests. Seeing Super Soy put a smile on a kid's face is priceless and has been the best return on investment.
Working with Olympus Group
“Olympus Mascots was beyond helpful and so responsive. We were working on quite a bit of a tight deadline, and they were just fabulous in making it happen. They went above and beyond to keep us updated on a status, where we were in the process, how long it should last, and where we would be next. I really appreciated the constant updates and communication.”
Super Soy = Super Promotional Tool
The City of Martin thought that having a mascot costume would be a good promotional tool for the festival and one that they could take to schools and community events throughout the year, not just during the festival.
The unveiling of Super Soy was pretty organic, and they didn't have a huge reveal at the festival. Instead, Super Soy just started showing up around the grounds. Super Soy initially made his first appearance at the children's event, Magical Marin Day, where there were about 2,000 kids in the park. During the first weekend of the festival, the local news station was present, and they did an interview with Super Soy on camera, so that helped with the introduction of the new soybean mascot.
Mascots: Marketing Like No Other
The City of Martin had to adjust the marketing budget for the festival to accommodate for the purchase of the mascot costume. They lowered spending on print and radio ads and moved some other money around to ultimately pay for Super Soy. One of the benefits of a mascot over other marketing tools is that it's a one-time payment, and the mascot will last you for years to come.
The Tennessee Soybean Festival is an award-winning festival. They've been recognized for the best children's programming, best social media, and best marketing. Super Soy adds a whole new dynamic to the festival's marketing, so they hope to win some more awards with the help of their new festival mascot.
Tennessee Soybean Festival Mascot Tips:
Know what you want and how you want to use it before you make the investment.
Be prepared to have someone dependable to perform as your mascot.
Give your mascot frequent breaks in consistent intervals to keep the performer healthy.
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