Glasgow & West Scotland

Partick Thistle unveil 'terrifying' new mascot Kingsley

Media captionTurner Prize-winning artist David Shrigley says his new mascot will 'intimidate' the opposition.

Partick Thistle's new mascot Kingsley - designed by Turner Prize-nominated artist David Shrigley - has caused a social media storm on its home debut.

The yellow character was paraded at Firhill Stadium as part of a new deal with US investment firm, Kingsford Capital, thought to be worth £200,000.

The mascot's quirky look soon saw thousands of comments and memes appear on social media sites around the world.

While some backed Kingsley others admitted to finding it "terrifying".

Stuart Drummond, who was the Hartlepool mascot, H'Angus the Monkey, and once even the town's mayor. told BBC Newsbeat Kingsley will bring shame on the good name of mascots.

'Terror mascot'

London-based American PR W1Girl tweeted: "Were I a child this would make me wet my pants".

Image caption The club unveiled a new Shrigley-designed mascot called Kingsley

Thistle unveil 'terrifying' mascot

Image caption David Shrigley has designed the mascot and team logo

Design and technology blog Gizmodo declared: "Partick Thistle's Kingsley is terror mascot-ified".

The verdict of Irish design student Aaron Roles was: "Nightmares are made of this".

Another tweet by shurelyshummishtake said: "Let's see who's brave enough to crack the 'Partick Thistle Nil' jokes now that Kingsley is on the scene".

Numerous posts on Twitter have likened Kingsley to the infant Maggie from The Simpsons.

Others thought of the baby's face in the BBC children's programme Teletubbies while a likeness to Mr Sneeze has also been noted.

Numerous memes have also appeared - even one where Kingsley features in Fifty Shades of Gray.

Not everyone is negative, however. Alistair Potter, deputy editor of The Metro website, tweeted: "It's an early declaration, yes, but Kingsley is the greatest sporting mascot of all time. Thanks Partick Thistle."

Image caption Shrigley's Kingsford Capital brand

'Demented sun god'

Jd Wenzel's opined: "All hail Kingsley, the demented sun god of Scotland!"

Kingsley was unveiled as a new mascot to mark Partick Thistle's new sponsorship deal with California-based firm, Kingsford Capital.

The deal, for a minimum of two years, will see the Kingsford brand on the Jags' strips and Firhill Stadium.

Glasgow-based artist Shrigley, a Thistle fan, had introduced the club to Kingsford Capital's manager, Mike Wilkins.

Mr Wilkins, who has been described as an art aficionado, and Mr Shrigley, first met several years ago over dinner in San Francisco.

Image caption Kingsford Capital's manager Mike Wilkins arranged the deal

The Californian later decided to support Thistle and made contact with the club's managing director Ian Maxwell.

A formal sponsorship deal was established thought to be worth £200,000 over two years, meaning Kingsford's Shrigley-designed logo will now feature on the front of Thistle's home and away strips for at least the next two seasons.

Mr Wilkins said: "I had been looking for an opportunity to get involved with something like this in the UK for a while but hadn't been able to find the right match.

"When I got talking to David Shrigley about Partick Thistle it seemed like it could be the perfect fit. The next step for me was to speak directly to the club."

Mr Wilkins said his dealings with the club had gone "really well" and helped convince him that "this was an organisation I very much wanted to be involved with".

He added: "I hope that this relationship will become more than just your average sponsorship deal.

'Fantastic club'

"As a commissioner of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington DC, I understand the power of art to communicate a shared spirit.

"It is very much like sport in that regard and, with David's help and genius, I hope we can bring something unique and new to an already fantastic club."

Mr Shrigley said he was honoured to have been involved in the deal.

"I can't wait to see my design on the front of the shirts and around Firhill and just hope the fans like what we're trying to do," he said.

"It's safe to say we have a few surprises in store for the supporters and we're already in talks with a few other artists to arrange some pretty exciting giveaways over the course of the season."

Thistle's managing director described the link-up with Kingsford as "a real coup".

"It has been part of our long-term strategy to begin attracting new sources of funding to the club and this is a fantastic way to start," said Mr Maxwell.

"We need to look at how to attract new people to football in Scotland, both in terms of funding and in terms of supporters, and some of the ideas that Mike and David have already brought to the table are really interesting.

"Partick Thistle is much more than just a football club and I certainly hope that this partnership too will turn into much more than just a sponsorship deal in the weeks, months and years to come."

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