Moving directly from college student to campy green fur-ball, Dave Raymond pioneered the field of sports mascots with his innovative inhabitation of the world-renowned Phillie Phanatic. He was the original Phanatic, and his vision and performance skill spawned a revolution in the mascot industry, leading sportscaster and baseball analyst Tim McCarver to name the Phanatic the “best mascot in baseball” in 1993.
Creating fan adoration, brand leadership and sponsorship opportunities for the Phillies and the Phanatic for 16 years catapulted Raymond into the world of character branding. As the nation’s leading market consultant for character branding on and off the field, court, or in the board room, Raymond generates The Power of Fun™ for over 250 sports teams and companies across the nation.
Providing leadership for his character branding company in West Grove PA, Raymond now wears the moniker of “Emperor of Fun and Games” at Raymond Entertainment Group (REG). The group offers soup-to-nuts character branding programs that develop market opportunities and plans, costumes, performer development and training, and growth management to generate maximum value from a sports or corporate brands.
In 2006, along with partners, David co-founded the Fun Department! The Fun Department is a team building company that specializes in low cost employee engagement for the purposes of morale, retention, health and productivity. David’s unique experience in the Power of Fun has led him to produce a one of a kind presentation that has him in demand as a keynote speaker and MC for corporate and community groups all over the country. “I studied, unknowingly, under a true master of fun! The Phillie Phanatic taught me how valuable fun is and why all of us should strive to use fun as a powerful tool to be happy and healthy at work and at home,” says David.
David has become a popular speaker for marketing, PR and the “self help” industries and has been profiled by CNN, Sports Illustrated, The New York Times, HBO, SiriusXM and NPR.