Wally’s World: Dinosaur Destined For Atletico Ottawa
It’s the kind of fan-born branding that otherwise sounds like a marketing fever dream.
Canadian Premier League side Atletico Ottawa looks set to unveil a tyrannosaurus rex as its mascot this Wednesday. While that may sound absolutely buck wild (because it is), it actually comes as the evolution of a fan-made initiative that came to be last summer.
That’s where the original t-rex, Wally, got his introduction during a match themed as a Beach Night. The original dino was an inflatable t-rex anyone could find on Amazon, but he was touched up with Atletico Ottawa colours and often hoisted up in the SG section known as The Dub. Wally, as he came to be known, took in home game after home game and, as his fame grew, came under the spotlight of OneSoccer cameras and player celebrations alike.
After the club’s scoreless draw with Forge last weekend, fans were caught by surprise when the team’s social media accounts put out a Thank You Wally post in a manner traditionally reserved for departing players and staff. Confusion came quickly, with many wondering if Wally had been popped during the match.
While that wouldn’t have made him the first club icon to be canonically killed by their own club, the truth was kinder: the original inflatable has retired (and in this economy!), with the new formalized Wally mascot set to be unveiled on Wednesday ahead of a TD Place debut set to follow this weekend.
Atletico Ottawa has yet to reveal what Wally Prime (or…just Wally we suppose) looks like, though from the above trailer we can see that he’s got five big ol’ claws on what we can only hope are comically short arms…after all, he’s at the place where feet do the talking.
The home match in which he’ll make his debut is against Cavalry, which by chance was the same match Atletico Ottawa played in the Beach Theme Night where the OG Inflatable Wally was introduced. You can’t fight fate, eh?
The arrival of Atletico Ottawa’s mascot means that York United will be the only Canadian Premier League side without a mascot, though we imagine the club will seek out a new owner before landing an animal icon to call its own. Of course, Wally won’t be the only dinosaur mascot of a pro sports team in the province.
For now, it’s truly just Wally’s World…we’re just living in it.