Kalamazoo Growlers introduce mascot, reveal name
A month of name submissions and voting in the Meijer #NameYourMascot contest has come to an end. Kalamazoo Growlers Assistant General Manager John Bollinger announced Barlee as the name of the official mascot at a team event last Friday. Barley is an ingredient frequently used in the brewing process. The name ties in with the Growlers team name as well as Kalamazoo’s stature in the craft brewing community, however, the mascot’s name is spelled ‘Barlee’ to make the name unique to Kalamazoo. Barlee also wears the number 64 in reference to the number of ounces in a growler.
Introduced by Bollinger as the “face of the franchise,” Barlee made its first public appearance with music blaring and underneath a shower of cheers and applause from the large crowd in attendance. Barlee put on a show for the audience, high-fiving the rows of kids and dancing in front of the stage. Battle Creek Bombers mascot Moe Skeeter added some fuel to the budding rivalry between the Bombers and Growlers by sneaking out after the name announcement and stealing Barlee’s hat. Barlee then signed autographs and posed for pictures with kids, along with Growlers assistant coach Cody Piechocki. The team also unveiled some of the features of its Growlers Cub Club including an inflatable bounce house, pitch and catch game, and prize spin wheel.
The Growlers received over 1,000 total entries during the submission period, but the list was eventually narrowed to four names, Barlee, Gibson, Bubba, and Burp. NCAA March Madness inspired a #NameYourMascot bracket in which Barlee defeated Gibson, and Burp slid past Bubba. At week’s end, Barlee was the overwhelming winner.
Aaron Warnez won the contest with his suggestion. He and his family were present at the event to receive recognition and take home a haul of prizes including:
2. Mascot driveway snow removal appearance
3. Mascot Valentine’s Day Flower delivery to your sweetheart
4. Mascot birthday party appearance
5. $100 Meijer shopping spree with the new Mascot
More pictures from team event available at the Kalamazoo Growlers Facebook page.