Utah company makes big business of creating mascots

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Picking a mascot to represent your school or your team is a big deal. But matter which team you root for, Alinco Costumes is the company that brings your team's mascot to life.

"We make mascot costumes," explained Terry Allen, president of Alinco Costumes.

The company has been owned and operated for decades right here in Utah. "Mascots make it memorable," Allen said.

Kevin Wasden, the company's art director, said, "We've worked with Disney, ESPN, PetCo; we do about 70 percent of the NBA."

Some of those NBA teams that get their mascot costumes from Alinco include the Chicago Bulls, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings and the Utah Jazz.

The company also brings many high school teams to life. A lion and a tiger the company make are both popular picks for teams all over the country.

Alinco made all the school mascots for the High School Musical movies. They contract with advertisers and amusement parks as well.

"When you see a kid's eyes light up when they see the character, that's just great," Allen said.

One thing that Allen will tell you is not so great: Halloween. "By Halloween time, we're not really excited about getting dressed up," he said.

But when the season starts, any season, that's when they get excited.

A typical high school mascot will take about six weeks to make and runs about $800. An NBA custom-made mascot could take twice as long and starts at about $5,000.

E-mail: abutterfield@ksl.com

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