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Dream Job Alert: Get Paid to Perform Crazy Stunts as an NBA Mascot

For most sports fans, the idea of becoming a professional mascot is the stuff of dreams – getting to entertain rowdy crowds, pull off hilarious stunts, and bring unbridled energy to game days. Very few, however, ever get the opportunity to make that dream a reality. That’s what makes a new job opening with Kroenke Sports & Entertainment in Denver so incredible.

The company, which owns the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Mammoth lacrosse team, and Colorado Rapids soccer club, is currently hiring for a mascot handler position that will also require the employee to suit up as the backup performer. That means the person hired won’t just be assisting the main attraction – they’ll occasionally get to slip into that iconic fluffy costume and become the raucous lifeblood of the arena themselves.

If entertaining thousands of fans while dressed as a mountain lion, mammoth, or other costumed character sounds like your dream gig, this unique role with KSE could be the golden ticket. But fair warning, it’s not for the faint of heart or those lacking athleticism and showmanship.

The full job description makes it clear that KSE’s mascots are true professionals, elite-level performers who need to be in peak physical condition. Tumbling, cheerleading stunts, dancing, and even stilt-walking are listed as essential skills for the position. These mascots aren’t just goofy character actors – they’re real-life daredevils who have been known to get launched into the air, dangle from the rafters, and put their bodies on the line in wildly creative ways.

In fact, the Nuggets’ iconic mountain lion mascot Rocky has gained a reputation as one of the most extreme performers in professional sports. During a pre-game ritual before a 2022 playoff game, Rocky attempted an over-the-top zipline entrance into the arena, only to come up short and absolutely demolish a pyrotechnics operator. The impact knocked the wind out of Rocky, forcing him to exit early that night.

It was a stunt gone wrong that could have easily caused serious injury – the kind of occupational hazard that comes with the territory. Being an NBA mascot clearly isn’t your typical day at the office.

Yet despite the inherent risk and athletic demands, the allure of this role can’t be overstated. After all, how many people can say they get paid to run around in a goofy costume, feed off the energy of a raucous crowd, and pull off daring feats for the pure entertainment value? It’s the closest most of us will ever come to feeling like real-life professional wrestlers or circus performers.

As the main handler, the employee will be tasked with prepping the mascot ahead of games and events while serving as the main point of contact. But he or she will occasionally be required to jump into the costume and become the star of the show themselves, whether that’s at outside promotional appearances or potentially even as the backup mascot for certain home games.

The physical requirements are no joke – applicants need at least one year of prior mascot experience, according to the job listing. Clearly having a background in dance, cheer, gymnastics or other athletic performing arts is essentially a must.

But for those capable of handling the rigors, the rewards could be considerable. KSE is offering the successful applicant $25 per hour as the handler, plus predetermined “mascot rates” when required to suit up and get into character. While those bonus rates aren’t specified, it’s well-established that top-tier professional mascots can rake in serious money.

In fact, a 2018 study by Yahoo Finance named Rocky as the highest-paid mascot in the entire NBA at $625,000 per year. Now, that lofty figure surely accounts for the full salary of the main performer and promotion/marketing commitments. But it gives you a sense of just how valued these mascots are by their respective teams and organizations as attractions and franchise icons.

Even if this particular backup performer role doesn’t pay that kind of superstar money, it likely comes with serious perks, like a flexible schedule, free tickets and gear, and unparalleled access to all the action. Perhaps just as valuable is the opportunity to build an incredible portfolio while mastering an extremely niche skill set.

After all, there are only a few hundred mascots currently employed by professional sports franchises. Standing out from the crowd by performing at such a high level in a major market like Denver could open all sorts of doors down the line, from promotions within the KSE umbrella to potentially even landing a full-time gig with other pro teams.

And regardless of where the performer’s journey ultimately takes them, they’ll be able to look back proudly at a truly unique career path – one filled with unforgettable moments of delighting crowds and bringing smiles to countless fans’ faces.

From zip-lining into the arena to battling rivals from other teams, there’s simply no way to predict what outrageous stunts and situations they could find themselves in on any given night. That unpredictable brand of chaos and excitement is exactly what makes being a mascot such a singular experience and appealing gig.

As the old saying goes, “Make a living doing what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” For the rare breed of fearless, uninhibited performer who lives for that kind of extroverted energy and public spotlight, working as a professional sports mascot could deliver that dream career.

The KSE job posting acknowledges this reality, making skills like “having a great sense of humor” a key requirement alongside those extensive athletic talents. When your office is a raucous arena filled with tens of thousands of screaming fans expecting a full-scale show, you better be prepared to embrace the pandemonium and let your fun-loving freak flag fly.

So for those bold, extroverted showmen and women out there looking to ditch the cubicle and trade in the khakis for a sweat-stained furry costume, this unique KSE opportunity could be the golden ticket to a dream job. With Colorado’s world-class pro sports scene providing the backdrop, the main stage is set for the next great professional mascot to emerge.

Whether it’s pulling off daring stunts, whipping crowds into a frenzy, or just adding another jolt of adrenaline to an already raucous atmosphere, the new KSE mascot handler/performer will undoubtedly bring their A-game. Denver sports fans have been spoiled by stars like Rocky for years – now a new generation of mascots will have the opportunity to cement their legend.

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