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Cuomo Offers $5,000 For The Best 2023 World University Games Mascot Design

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April 2, 2021

By Kira Ratan–

The 2023 Winter World University Games are set to be held in Lake Placid, NY, but they need a mascot.

To fill that need, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last month that there will be a competition for the job, “The mascot will serve as a highly visible symbol of the Games, which attract a global audience,” he said in a press release. Whichever design is chosen will be featured in a variety of forms, including a live, costumed character; merchandise like toys, stuffed animals, apparel and other souvenirs; and in promotional materials before and during the Games.

Cuomo hopes that this design competition will engage New Yorkers in the games and, most importantly, capture the unflagging spirit of the State.

So get out your pens and start drawing. Think of something that captures the collegial spirit of the competition and the heart of New Yorkers.

The contest is open to New York State residents 18 and older. U.S. residents currently enrolled in New York State colleges and universities are also eligible. More information, including how to submit your design, can be found on the I LOVE NY website here.

Contest submissions are due soon—by Sunday, April 18. Submissions will be judged based on several factors, including public voting that begins on Wednesday, April 21 and closes on Friday, April 30. Ten finalists will be chosen to advance to a selection committee, representing academia, government, tourism and athletics, who will choose the winning design concept. The winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize that can be used to attend the Lake Placid 2023 World University Games.

For some inspiration, here are mascot and logo designs from past competitions similar to the World University Games:

Above is the official mascot for the 2021 Summer World University Games which will be held in Chengdu, China. The mascot, a giant panda named Rongbao, links the mascot to the location of the games, as the Sichuan Province is the natural habitat of the giant panda. Additionally, the flame of the torch is in the shape of the number 31, denoting that this is the 31st edition of the Summer World University Games.

World Cup Willie, the first-ever mascot for the World Cup, was created in 1966 by an English artist and illustrator. The use of a lion was said to be an homage to England’s regal nature.

One of the later World Cup mascots, Brasil’s Fuleco, was created for the 2014 games. This mascot design was particularly unique, as the creators took the opportunity to bring environmental awareness into their conception. They did so by making Fuleco an endangered species, the three-banded armadillo, and combining the Portuguese words for ‘”football” and “ecology” to create the name “Fuleco.”

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