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August 15, 2018

Beacon the Puffin unveiled as Maine Mariners' official mascot

Courtesy / Maine Mariners
Courtesy / Maine Mariners
Meet Beacon the Puffin, unveiled Wednesday as the official mascot for the Maine Mariners hockey team, who will play in the ECHL league and host home games at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland.

Beacon the Puffin, a herring-loving avian whose favorite song is "Free as a Bird" by the Beatles and hails from Machias Seal Island in the Gulf of Maine, has been named the official mascot of the Maine Mariners hockey team.

Within hours of Wednesday morning's reveal on a NewsCenter Maine broadcast and the first Tweet by @BeaconthePuffin, the Pine Tree State's newest sports mascot was already at more than 70 Twitter followers followers by 10 a.m. and the subject of welcome messages using the hashtag #PuffinPride.

Followers include @MaineAudubon, which tweeted that "puffins certainly know how to make a comeback," and @SeaBagsMaine, which touted its Puffin Tote" as perfect for Beacon, a bag inspired by a John James Audubon illustration.

Beacon also has an Audubon connection, since one of the mascot's hobbies is listed as raising awareness for puffin restoration with the National Audubon Society's Maine-based Project Puffin. Beacon's other favorite activities are meeting Mariners fans and supporting community events, according to Wednesday's announcement.

Big Room Studios, the Portland-based creative technology company that developed the Mariners' nautical-themed logo, helped design the mascot, while Commercial Costumes in North Yarmouth — which also made Slugger the Sea Dog for the minor-league baseball team based in Portland — produced Beacon.

"Beacon is an important addition to our team and I am looking forward to seeing this puffin bring the fun to Maine," said Adam Goldberg, vice president of business operations for the Maine Mariners. "You will not only see Beacon at all Mariners home games, but around the community all year round. The Mariners have puffin pride!"

Michael Keeley, the team's media relations and broadcast manager, told Mainebiz by email that expanded merchandise will go on sale soon though was unable to give an exact dates or specifics on Beacon-themed items.

Wednesday's announcement does not specify whether Beacon is male or female, but cites National Geographic details about the average puffin weighing 17.5 ounces and standing 10 inches tall. Often likened to penguins although they fly as well as swim, puffins are black-and-white-bodied with colorful beaks and triangular marks around their eyes.

The Mariners, an affiliate of the New York Rangers, will hit the ice for the first time on Saturday, Oct. 13, as they host the Adirondack Thunder in Portland. The Mariners will play in the ECHL League.

The Mariners was the name chosen out of five finalists submitted by the public, including the Portland Puffins.

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