Sparky the Sun Devil is the official mascot of Arizona State University. Originally the ASU athletic teams’
mascot was an owl, then became a “Normal” (named for the Tempe Normal School), then was later changed
to a bulldog. The State Press, the student newspaper, ran frequent appeals during the fall of 1946, urging the
Bulldog to be replaced by the new Sun Devil. On November 8, 1946, the student body voted 819 to 196 to
make the change. On November 20, as reported by the Arizona Republic, the student council made it official.
The following day, the first Arizona State team played as the Sun Devils. Two years later, alumnus and Disney
illustrator Bert Anthony designed “Sparky”, a devil holding a trident (colloquially referred to as a pitchfork).
Arizona State announced they were joining forces with the Walt Disney Company to redesign the mascot
costume in 2013 as part of an effort to modernize the character, and planned to use the character in comic
books, children books and animated features. The school also announced that they planned to continue using
the iconic mark in various ways, including marketing and selling apparel alongside the new version of the
character. The new Sparky can be seen roaming the sidelines at the majority of Sun Devil events.
The history of the ASU Sun Devil Marching Band is a proud one. Since being founded on September
20, 1915 by Lillian Williams, the then-Tempe Bulldogs Marching Band has grown into today’s ensemble of
nearly 400 members that consists of percussion, woodwind, brass, front ensemble, color guard and spirit
The ASU Sun Devil Marching Band is known as “The Pride of the Southwest,” and with good reason.
In 1991, the band was awarded the Sudler Trophy, an award given to one band each year in recognition
of elevated musical standards, innovative marching routines, and a high level of national respect. The
ASU Sun Devil Marching Band is the first Pac-10 school to be distinguished with this award, and high
standards continue to be the norm today.
In addition to a number of bowl appearances, other past credits include: a performance in the
pregame show at Super Bowl XLII in Glendale, Arizona; performances at Cardinals NFL and Phoenix Suns
NBA games; and performances at Sea World, Knott’s Berry Farm, Disneyland and Universal Studios. The
ASU Sun Devil Marching Band has also had special guest appearances with the Boston Brass Quintet,
Tower of Power and Little Richard.
The ASU Spirit Squad, which includes the Sun Devil Dance Team
and Spirit Leaders, is part of the ASU Sun Devil Marching Band. It is a
prestigious organization created to promote school spirit and interest in
college activities, and perform and support athletic programs. Members
have the opportunity to sharpen dance technique, develop positive personal
character, and provide quality, family entertainment for large audiences.
SUN DEVIL FOOTBALL 2016
M RC ING BAND