Since bursting onto the scene in 1995, Houston's Own CLUTCH "The Rockets Bear" has become one of sport's most celebrated mascots. With his imaginative skits and mischievous antics, Clutch personifies NBA entertainment at its best. An unofficial and unscientific study that never really happened reported that Clutch has hugged more Houstonians than anyone else on the planet. The Rockets are confident that this is the case. Can you think of anyone else that could give him a run for the title?
Named the first ever NBA Mascot of the Year in 2005 and again in 2013 as well as being inducted into the Mascot Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 2006, Clutch is the Houston Rockets' number one fan, and can be seen cheering on his team at all Houston Rockets home games. Whether he is creating impromptu comedy, cheerleading, signing autographs, dancing with the Power Dancers, doling out hugs or performing on-court skits, Clutch is always a fan favorite. In 2009 and again in 2010 his peers honored him by voting him the winner of the NBA mascot leadership award. Clutch has opened on stage at private parties for Sting, Bon Jovi, Tim McGraw & Faith Hill, Miley Cirus, Bill Cosby, Al Green, Reba McEntire & America and has also performed skits with many Hollywood celebrities, sports stars and politicians, including Jack Nicholson, Kevin Costner, George Bush Sr., Tiger Woods, Adam Sandler, Bill Murray, P-Diddy, Nelly, Chris Tucker, Andy Roddick, Beyonce, and WWE Superstars Booker T. & Big Show.
While Clutch loves entertaining fans at the Toyota Center, this ubiquitous Houstonian also makes 250 Houston area appearances each year, along with about 20 out of town and international appearances. This "ham" is equally entertaining in front of an arena filled with tens of thousand fans, a school cafeteria filled with hundreds of students, a meeting room filled with 50 business people, or a living room filled with 5 kids. Perfect for every occasion where fun is the agenda! At many of these events Clutch can be seen performing his hilarity not only to the beat of his own drum, but to the beat of his own rock song, "Clutch the Bear," available for free download at www.rockets.com. He has entertained fans all over the continental United States and Alaska, as well as in Russia, England, Kosovo, Bosnia, Canada, Mexico (2 tours), Taiwan, Philippines, and China (6 tours). He is the only bear to have started a snowball fight on the Great Wall of China! Sorry, Power Dancers! The tours in England, Kosovo, and Bosnia were for Armed Forces Entertainment; Clutch, Rockets Power Dancers, and the Rockets Launch Crew proudly entertained audiences as large as 1,000 comprised of US troops stationed abroad.
Clutch's philosophy on life can be boiled down to one easy to remember word, SMILES! CLUTCH says that SMILES stands for: Stuffed animal that everyone wants to hug, Marketing the Rockets all over the place all the time, Inspiring the Rockets and their fans to victory, Laughter is more important than anything, Educating youth to make intelligent, future oriented decisions, and Stunts that amaze. Because Clutch is passionate about helping youth, approximately 100 of his Houston area appearances are for elementary schools, where he performs an interactive show called "Building A Future." As of 2013 this "edutainer" has performed over 1,400 school shows at more than 400 schools in front of 900,000+ students over the last two decades! The Rockets organization has released 7 children's story books in partnership with Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital (5 books), University of Phoenix (1 book), and most recently Clutch's Good Night's Sleep with Mattress Firm. These books are given out gratis to students across the city at Clutch's "Building A Future" School Shows and other appearances. As of 2013 over 300,000 total books have been given out city wide. In Feb. 2009, Clutch had a story published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inside Basketball, which is available in bookstores nationwide and details the story of his visit to a sick child in the hospital. In addition to the scores of yearly Rockets Community Service events and projects Clutch is heavily involved with and a spokesperson for the United Way of Greater Houston and Life Gift an organ donor awareness organization.
As an industry leader, Clutch has introduced several elements and routines to professional sports including "AIR" or inflatable mascots, mascot bowling, mascot stilt boxing, and his recent quick change disappearing louder banners. He enjoys training and mentoring mascots at the high school, collegiate, minor league, and professional levels at both the Rockets Mascot Fantasy camp he directs yearly and private coaching sessions throughout the year. He has coached and mentored over 400 mascot performers.
With a state of the art arena, brand new in-arena center hung high definition score board measuring free throw line to free throw line, millions of friends across Houston, and an exciting team to support, approaching two decades with the Rockets, Clutch can't wait to see what the future will bring! Visit Clutch and the Rockets at www.rockets.com and friend him on Facebook. Clutch gives out lots of prizes and posts tons of photos from games and events, so check his page regularly to stay in the loop. To schedule Clutch at your next special event please call his trainer, Dominic Davila, at (713) 758-7347.