Black Bear out, landshark in
Let’s be honest. The Black Bear mascot at Ole Miss hasn’t worked.
Fans don’t identify with it and it isn’t marketable.
That spells doom for the Black Bear, which officially emerged after a 2010 student vote to replace Colonel Reb, retired in 2003.
The landshark finished second in the 2010 vote to the black bear but remember that it wasn’t even a thing until 2009 when a Rebel football player made the fins up gesture on the playing field.
Since then fans and Ole Miss cheerleaders have actively embraced the landshark gesture during football games and students and alumni embrace “fins up” on social media, making it unofficially official.
Meanwhile, the Black Bear mascot nicknamed “Rebel” strolls around, out of place, with little embrace at all.
Now we have arrived at a moment that the black bear mascot comes back into question. When Ole Miss students vote next week on changing the black bear to a landshark in a student-wide election we have no doubt how it will emerge.
Black bear out, landshark in.
History will show that’s a good move from a marketing and fan embrace standpoint. Colonel Reb has been long gone but Ole Miss needs a more recognizable and sturdy mascot.