Eric Meyer, 2022 advertising management graduate, reveals membership in elite Sparty Program
By: Katie Davis
The Sparty Mascot Program is one of the many organizations students can be involved in on Michigan State University’s campus. Students who fit the height requirements can try out to help carry on the Sparty legacy. Eric Meyer, 2022 advertising management graduate, was lucky enough to fit all the requirements. He was given the opportunity to be Sparty full-time in addition to being a full-time student.
Being Sparty means you are not allowed to tell people you are the one in the iconic suit. Meyer says hiding the secret of being Sparty can be tough; he said his classmates would sometimes see him leave class early or not be in class at random times. Meyer says he had to keep his story straight in order to avoid further suspicion.
“I was sometimes asked, ‘why did you leave class early?’ or ‘where were you the other day?’ and I just got really good at lying,” said Meyer. “The hardest part at the beginning was keeping my lies straight. As I got better, the lie became, ‘I work for the Alumni Office’ and that was enough to bore the student from asking another question. Sometimes I would have to go in depth and say either I call alumni asking for donations to the school or I had an alumni meetup in California, New York, Detroit, etc.”
Behind the green-and-white lies, Meyer as Sparty was experiencing once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and cross-country travel. The Sparty Mascot Program allowed him to do everything from appear on “Fox and Friends” and a Rocket Mortgage commercial, to visit children’s hospitals and football bowl games.
“[My overall favorite event was] the Alabama Senior Bowl in 2019; I met one of my best friends there and we have been close ever since,” said Meyer. “But more specifically, we did a visit to a children’s hospital, and it was the best experience of my Sparty career. High fives, hugs, peek-a-boo and dancing with a little girl’s favorite stuffed animal were the highlights of that.”
Despite the late-night study sessions and missing events with friends from time-to-time, being involved in the Sparty Mascot Program is not something that everyone can say they have done.
“The Sparty program changed my life for the better 1,000% and I would do it all over again,” said Meyer. “It is not for everyone, but I would definitely encourage people to look more into it. If they want to do something that can truly make people smile all across the country, I’d say give it a shot.”
To apply to try out for the Sparty Mascot Program, please visit: https://alumni.msu.edu/sparty/tryouts.cfm.