As with the star athletes themselves, US colleges offer an excellent stage for aspiring young mascots to learn the trade and get some big stage experience.

While still considered an amateur sport to eliminate the need for universities to pay their athletes, college football is colossal across the country and even more intense for performers in some parts than the professional game.

So, while plying their trade to ready themselves for an audition with one of the teams battling away in the NFL odds, how much do college football mascots get paid?

Do College Football Mascots Get Paid?

Many college football mascots are paid for their performances by tuition, with benefits like scholarships, expenses being covered, food, and housing seemingly the primary currencies of paying US university mascots.

This aligns with how college football players are compensated. Despite college football as a whole being a multi-billion dollar enterprise, players aren’t financially compensated by their universities but do get scholarships.

Of course, college football players have been able to earn sponsorships away from the field, and now, with relatively new Name, Image, and Likeness rules (NIL), they can profit from other avenues rather than by getting a salary.

That said, with universities paying millions to bring in professional coaches, some may also pay up for experienced and professional mascots rather than entrusting the costume to a student. 

This route would likely put the mascot's salary in the region of US$24,000 as an entry-level role, but perhaps as high as US$50,000 – the median for mascots in the US. 

Regardless, like with many professional sports roles, there isn’t a set of public figures offered to give a firm answer to the question of how much college football mascots get paid. 

How Does College Football Mascot Salary Compare To The NFL?

The average NFL mascot salary roughly equates to US$57,100, with some mascots being paid more than others. Playing beyond the regular season adds to a mascot’s salary in the NFL as extra performances are required.

So, while Sourdough Sam of the San Francisco 49ers may get the average or below-average mascot salary, as the 49ers odds have the team at +500 to win Super Bowl LIX, the mascot could expect to earn a lot more from an extended postseason run. 

Still, there is a limited number of mascot roles in the NFL, and while we don’t know the average turnover of the job, it can be assumed that mascots tend to stick around for a while.

College football mascots would be getting great experience in their university years, and some will perform for massive crowds regularly, but the path to the NFL is certainly narrow. 

How much college football mascots make isn’t disclosed by universities or the NCAA, so a firm figure can’t be given as to how much they get paid. However, the consensus assumption is that scholarships tend to be the currency.

*Credit for all images in this article belongs to Alamy*

Ben is very much a sports nerd, being obsessed with statistical deep dives and the numbers behind the results and performances.

Top of the agenda are hockey, soccer, and boxing, but there's always time for the NFL, cricket, Formula One, and a bit of mixed martial arts.