For the first time in NBA history, an NBA team mascot has signed an endorsement deal. The ever-popular Phoenix Suns popular mascot, The Phoenix Suns Gorilla (also known as GO), has signed a deal to wear shoes and clothing from Guest List, a Phoenix boutique fashion label.
GO debuted as the Phoenix Suns mascot in 1990, and the deal is said to be approximately $80,000
“On Monday, the Suns announced that their gorilla, known as GO, signed the first-ever team mascot athletic endorsement deal after partnering with the Phoenix streetwear brand Guest List. The deal will be inclusive of select footwear, apparel and accessories, also known as “Gorillawear," Phoenix Suns press release.”
“His debut look featured Bape x BCM tee and belt bag, Embellish jeans, and a pair of Union Jordan 1’s,” the Phoenix Suns said in a statement.
“The outfit was completed with a Rolex and an assortment of custom Guest List chains – with the total value of the outfit eclipsing more than (US) $88,000.
The owner of Guest List, Ryan Gizinski, was excited to launch this history-making deal.
"This means so much to me. We are a part of the Valley. The players shop with us, the fans shop with us and community in the city comes in and support us. For us to team up with the Suns is amazing. We lace people up with the gear they wear to games and for us to play a role in this is incredible.” Ryan Giziniski, Gues List Owner
The Phoenix Suns triumphantly announced the history-making deal on Twitter this afternoon, and the feedback from fans was overwhelmingly positive.
The Gorilla mascot actually came about as an accident. For 11 years, the Phoenix Suns had no mascot- there was one attempt to create a Suns-related mascot with a sunflower costume, but it didn't work.
Then one day in 1990, a messenger from a singing telegram service, Eastern Onion, came to the Coliseum dressed as a gorilla. As the man/gorilla left, security at the Coliseum asked him to do a few dances underneath the basket during a timeout. The fans loved his over-the-top dance routine, and the main inside the gorilla suit, Henry Rojas, kept coming to games and dancing. Eventually, he was invited to be an official part of the team as the team mascot.
He became a huge hit not just in Phoenix but across the NBA and is considered one of the most popular mascots in the NBA.
Now, just over thirty years later, the gorilla has created history by inking his first endorsement deal. Phoenix fans will be hoping the clothing and shoes get maximum exposure and the Phoenix Suns make a deep run into the NBA playoffs.