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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — He’s a crazy, outrageous, Philly original, with mega-star power! A tweeting, skating, basket-making, lovable monster who came into our world. He’s Gritty and orange you glad he’s all ours?
The Philadelphia Flyers sure feel that way, because the numbers say it all.
“His Twitter following is over 212,000, Instagram following is well over 170,000. On his very first day, he trended on Google and Twitter for the first 24 hours,” said Joe Heller, the vice president of marketing for the Flyers.
However, it wasn’t all positive when Gritty was introduced.
“I find him scary,” one guy said.
“That thing is horrifying. He looks like if Ed Sheeran exploded,” said Stephen Colbert on “The Late Show” at the time.
But the Flyers expected that.
“We actually planned for the negative reaction. We just knew it had nothing to do with who the mascot was, it was the fact that the Flyers have a mascot after 52 years,” said Heller.
What they didn’t expect was how global Gritty would go.
“A lot of credit goes to the performer, the performer just gets who he is and has from day one,” said Heller.
Gritty has gotten so big, he’s got an entourage that handles everything, from security to social media.
“We have a real strong design team here that handles his social media. They’re really the voice of Gritty and they’ve done a tremendous job of really not only adapting to what comes to them but capitalizing on things,” said Heller.
Now, everyone wants a piece of Gritty, and so did Tori.
Gritty never disappoints. And after Tori spent some quality time with him, she began to see why people love him so much.
Sure, he’s funny, limber, and has great hair, but Gritty really is all the lovable things inside each of us, that maybe we’re sometimes too afraid to share: the weird, the different, the fun.
“Everybody’s got a little Gritty inside of them,” said Heller.