Otto the Orange is the mascot for the Syracuse Orange, the athletic teams of Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York, USA. Otto is an anthropomorphic orange, wearing a large blue hat and blue pants. Otto can usually be seen at Syracuse sporting events in the Carrier Dome and other university sporting events.
The Syracuse mascot was originally a Native American character named "The Saltine Warrior" (Syracuse's unofficial nickname is the Salt City) and "Big Chief Bill Orange". The character was born out of a hoax in which it was claimed that a 16th-century Onondogan Indian chief was unearthed while digging the foundation for the women's gymnasium in 1928.
In the mid-1950s, the father of a Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity brother owned a cheerleading camp. He made a Saltine Warrior costume for his son to wear at SU football games. Thus began a nearly forty-year tradition of Lambda Chi brothers serving as SU's mascot. In 1990 however the University opened up the mascot traditions to the entire student body (Daily Orange, February 22, 1990).
In 1978, Native American students successfully petitioned the University to discontinue the Saltine Warrior, citing the mascot's stereotypical portrayal of Native Americans. During the 1978 season, the University introduced a Roman gladiator dressed in orange armor, but the idea proved largely unpopular among fans, who regularly booed the mascot.
In the summer of 1990, the cheerleaders and mascots were at a UCA Cheerleading Camp in Tennessee and the students who were chosen to suit up in the costume narrowed the field down to two potential names -- "Opie" and "Otto"—as a new orange costume was made. It was concluded that the name "Opie" would lead to the inevitable rhyme with 'dopey', and settled on "Otto." Later that fall, word got out that the cheerleaders were calling the latest mascot costume Otto, and the name stuck.
For 17 years the university did not settle on an "official" mascot until the chancellor appointed a group of students and faculty to create a mascot and logo. University administration considered introducing a new mascot (a wolf or lion were likely candidates), but the student body supported Otto. He was recognized as the official mascot of Syracuse University by 1995.
In general, most of Otto’s social media activity happens through pictures and videos. Additionally, he frequently retweets or shares other University pages in order to promote sports games, events such as the career fair, and instilling pride in SU fans.
Otto the Orange is also verified across all of his platforms, meaning the companies of the social networks have acknowledged his accounts as genuine.
The first picture posted by Otto was added January 13, 2014. The photo was a picture of a cupcake with a frosting version of Otto sitting on top. The instagram page is regularly updated with photos of Otto with fans, playing out in snow, and places around campus.
Created in 2014, the account posts updates that promotes events going on around campus such as football and basketball games.
Otto posts often celebrating holidays, adding pictures with fans, and shares other Syracuse University pages.