An article from the Tampa Bay Times published in 2006 states that about 80 percent of the NBA teams, including the Orlando Magic, hire full-time employees to play mascots, with the starting annual salary in the $40,000-$45,000 range. "Because of the physical nature, they're much like an athlete. They push the limit of entertainment and take more physical risks, whether they're on roller blades or being in a giant slingshot and being shot down the court."
The average salary for professional mascot jobs is $26,000, but it can vary greatly due to company, location, industry, experience and benefits.
The frightning New Orleans Pelicans mascot debuted earlier this season and initial fan reaction was, well, terror. Now, the Pelicans have taken in massive fan backlash and plan to re-design the head of the mascot to make him look ‘less scary’. Find out more here.