Mascot Joke Inadvertently Raises Money for Wild Tigers | Athletic Business

Mascot Joke Inadvertently Raises Money for Wild Tigers

A joke between football fans went so well that it raised about $3,000 for wild tigers.

The fundraising effort began during the College Football Playoff National Championship game between Clemson and LSU on Jan. 13. Upon seeing the no-frills Tiger costume used by the Clemson mascot, Dion Grossnickle created a GoFundMe page titled “Purchase Clemson a new mascot costume.”

The fundraiser’s caption initially said that Grossnickle felt bad for the Tiger because the costume looked like it was bought on a clearance rack in 1981. It said that all proceeds would be mailed to the Clemson University Athletic Department.

Grossnickle, who says he’s primarily an LSU fan as well as a big fan of the Clemson program, had raised $3,131 as of Monday morning – something he never expected.

"This page was created to gain some smiles and create some giggles,” the updated GoFundMe page says. “Little did I know that the post would be seen by millions upon millions of people and raise a few thousand dollars.

“Once I realized that this GoFundMe page would actually bring in some money I quickly tried to reach out to the Clemson Athletic Department to see where the money could be used. Bottom line, this money is their money and I wanted to be 100% certain that they made the decision.”

The decision was to donate all of the funds to the Tigers United University Consortium, which has the goal of doubling the number of tigers in the wild by 2022. Tigers United is a collaboration of Clemson, Auburn, LSU and Missouri, all of which have tiger mascots.

“I believe that this is the perfect place for the monies that have been raised and that will be raised to go,” Grossnickle posted on the GoFundMe page. “LSU, Clemson, and Auburn are all part of this wonderful organization that has little exposure. But I am hoping that my Facebook joke can be used to grow their purpose.”

According to WAFB9, Grossnickle’s Facebook page posted a Jan. 23 picture of a check for $2,931.39 made out to Clemson University.

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