What is furry, green and beloved by fans the world over? The Phillie Phanatic, of course! You don’t need to be a baseball fan to know and love this playful mascot. In fact, Forbes magazine rated the Phanatic as one of the most recognized mascots ever. From his “whammy,” a finger-shaking hex, to his “whomp,” a hula hoop-style shake, the Phanatic knows how to woo a crowd. It’s what makes Tom Burgoyne, the man behind the mask, love the job so much.
“The Phanatic never gets down and never has a bad day ... even when the team is down. We can learn a lot from him,” says Burgoyne, who first donned the costume as a back-up in 1989 and has been the full-time Phanatic since 1994. Burgoyne and three back-up performers average 800 events per year.
Burgoyne recently teamed up with Dillon Marcus after meeting the company’s co-founder, Evan Marcus, at a local event. The two began talking and realized that the Phanatic’s message isn’t limited to baseball fans. “We wanted to explore the link between the love fans have for the Phanatic and how that is applicable to companies,” Burgoyne says. “Don’t you want that kind of love for your company and/or brand?”
The result? Burgoyne’s Loyal, Loving Fans for Life, a full-day leadership workshop for up to 35 participants. It is held in the stadium’s executive dining room and comes complete with a tour of the ballpark (though Burgoyne’s workshop can also be booked for off-site events). His stories of life as the Phanatic are entertaining and insightful and range from misfired hot dogs to sentimental fan stories, but they weave a theme of brand loyalty throughout all of them. “The stories are different and not the same ones you’ve heard in other workshops before,” he explains. “Be a better person. Enjoy life. Spread the love. It’s about professional goals, but these are universal themes.”