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Sixers ask fans to vote for new mascot - 12/5/2011

PHILADELPHIA, PA – DECEMBER 5, 2011 – The Philadelphia 76ers Chief Executive Officer and co-Owner Adam Aron announced today that the selection of the Sixers new mascot will be guided by the fans themselves. As one fulfillment of a pledge that the 76ers new owners are committed to listening to Philadelphia sports fans, they will have an opportunity to vote on the final three designs created by the heralded Jim Henson's Creature Shop™, working closely with the Sixers.

Fan voting will begin immediately, on December 5, 2011 and will continue through 7 pm EST Friday December 9, 2011 at a new web site created specifically for the vote: SixersMascotFanVote.com.

“A new era is beginning for the Philadelphia 76ers under new ownership and we welcome Philadelphia sports fans helping us to select the new Sixers mascot,” Aron said. “Jim Henson’s Creature Shop™ has done an outstanding job in giving Philadelphia fans three heart-warming characters to embrace.”

Aron continued, “It’s un-American not to like B. Franklin Dogg, who after all is man’s best friend. With his great height, Phil E. Moose is a natural who can stand tall defending and cheering the Sixers as they take on all comers. And then there is lovable, venerable Big Ben, perhaps the greatest Philadelphian of all time.”

The final three candidates – B. Franklin Dogg, Phil E. Moose and Big Ben – relying on the fans’ vote to become the new mascot of the Philadelphia 76ers are as follows (please find renderings from the Jim Henson Creature Shop™ attached):

B. FRANKLIN DOGG:

The All-American pet, B. Franklin Dogg is a loyal Philadelphia resident who can be seen in artist drawings from the day nestled under the table beside Ben Franklin as he deliberated on the founding of the nation. In the revolutionary fervor of the times, B. Franklin Dogg proudly wore patriotic colonial garb to show his spirit. Over the years, B. Franklin Dogg was occasionally seen playing with a basketball around the historic landmarks of Philadelphia, before finally making his way up Broad St. to the Wells Fargo Center.

PHIL E. MOOSE:

One of the most regal animals to roam the wild, Phil E. Moose certainly fits that bill, standing tall as he represents the Sixers (he stands over seven-feet tall in fact, with the antlers). In his youth, Phil E. Moose would often be seen dunking a basketball with ease, aided by his great height. Throughout his high school, collegiate and professional games, Phil E. Moose was a scoring star, and was excited to learn he had been "traded" to the 76ers in order to entertain fans during games at the Wells Fargo Center.

BIG BEN:

One of the most revered figures in American history, and a man who needs no introduction as an honorable representation of this city and nation, "Big Ben" Franklin will now come back to serve Philadelphia yet once again. An avid basketball fan, Big Ben was thrilled when asked to join Philadelphia sports fans in cheering the 76ers on to greatness. As the Sixers new mascot, he will bring electricity to the Wells Fargo Center, and be a towering presence at Sixers games –both figuratively and literally, as he stands seven-feet tall.

The introduction of a new mascot comes at a time when the Sixers new ownership has pledged to transform and enhance the game presentation at Sixers games. Once a new mascot is selected by fans, the Sixers will benefit from the advice and wisdom of David Raymond of the Raymond Entertainment Group in animating and bringing the new mascot to life. Raymond was the original Phillie Phanatic for some 15 years.

The new mascot will be unveiled early in the 2011-2012 NBA season.

ABOUT THE JIM HENSON CREATURE SHOP™:

Jim Henson's Creature Shop™ provides digital visual effects, animatronic creatures, animation and soft puppets to the international film, television, online and advertising industries. Based in Los Angeles and New York with satellite shop capabilities internationally, the Shop is known for designing and building some of the world's best known characters including Elmo from "Sesame Street," Miss Piggy from "The Muppet Show," the Baby from "Dinosaurs," Rygel from "Farscape," and the Skeksis from "The Dark Crystal." Other credits include “Where the Wild Things Are,” "Five Children and It," the critically acclaimed television series "Farscape," "George Of The Jungle," "101 Dalmatians," "Cats and Dogs,” and most recently, “Sid the Science Kid” currently airing on PBS KIDS.

A recipient of more than 9 Emmy Awards for its outstanding work building puppets for "Sesame Street," the Shop also received an Academy Award for its visual effects work on the film "Babe." Other awards include a Scientific and Engineering Academy Award for the Henson Performance Control System as well as an Engineering Emmy, the Computer Graphics World Innovation Award, and the Computerworld Honors 21st Century Achievement Award, all given to the Shop for its work in developing the Henson Digital Puppetry Studio, a patented control system technology that enables performers to physically puppeteer and voice computer generated (CG) characters in real time.

ABOUT THE RAYMOND ENTERTAINMENT GROUP:

David Raymond pioneered the field of sports mascots with his innovative inhabitation of the world-renowned Phillie Phanatic. He was the original Phanatic, and his vision and performance skill spawned a revolution in the mascot industry, leading sportscaster and baseball analyst Tim McCarver to name the Phanatic the “best mascot in baseball” in 1993.

Creating fan adoration, brand leadership, and sponsorship opportunities for the Phillies and the Phanatic for 16 years catapulted Raymond into the world of character branding. As the nation’s leading market consultant for character branding on and off the field, court, and in the board room, Raymond generates MoneyMakingFun™ for over 250 sports teams and companies.

The Raymond Entertainment Group is a marketing and entertainment company that specializes in providing creative branding programs to any business or organization looking for new and exciting marketing tools.