The official mascot for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games is revealed today as Perry, a bull adorned with a patchwork of multi-coloured hexagons.
Perry becomes the first mascot at any multi-sport Games who will be brought to life through augmented reality, giving people the opportunity to #PoseWithPerry using their mobile phone camera, and via a special filter on Facebook and Instagram. Users can summon an animated, 3D version of Perry into their living rooms, pose for pictures with him, and can share their photos on social media.
Perry is inspired by the design of ten-year-old Emma Lou from Bolton, the winner of a national design competition that took place over the summer of 2020. The competition tasked children aged 5-15 with creating a mascot that reflects the identity, heritage and culture of Birmingham and the West Midlands.
The winning design was combined with the findings of the first ever Virtual Mascot Summit in July 2020, hosted by Olympic heptathlon champion and President of Commonwealth Games England Denise Lewis OBE and TV Presenter Radzi Chinyanganya from Wolverhampton.
The summit saw more than 50 children from across Birmingham and the West Midlands take part in tasks to develop the mascot’s characteristics, values and movements, helping to inspire Perry’s personality.
Perry becomes an icon for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, the biggest sports event to be held in the UK for a decade and will be seen by a global audience of more than one billion people.
Who is Perry?
Perry is named after the Perry Barr area of Birmingham, the home of the Alexander Stadium, which will host the athletics events at the Games, as well as the opening and closing ceremonies. The stadium is undergoing a £72 million transformation in time for the Games.
The mascot’s rainbow coloured hexagons represent the coming together of the Commonwealth in equal partnership with the diverse communities of Birmingham and the West Midlands at the Games in 2022.
Perry is a friendly, kind and cheeky bull, an animal with which Birmingham has been synonymous for centuries. The city has had a market area known as the Bull Ring since the 16th century; the site is close to the current Bullring shopping centre, with an iconic bronze bull statue at its entrance.
Perry is wearing a medal, which references Birmingham’s iconic Jewellery Quarter, the UK’s centre for jewellery and precious metals for more than two hundred years. The area still produces around 40% of the country’s jewellery and is home to one of the world’s largest Assay Offices, hallmarking millions of gold, silver and platinum items each year.
The mascot’s sports kit includes blue, red and yellow stripes, a nod to the colours of the official flag of Birmingham, and the city’s motto, Forward.
An animated video telling the story of Perry’s personality and characteristics has also been unveiled today. The animation is narrated by comedian Guz Khan, creator and star of critically acclaimed BBC sitcom Man Like Mobeen, a comedic take on life in inner-city Birmingham.
A range of mascot clothing and accessories are available to buy from today from the newly launched Birmingham 2022 online shop – www.shop.birmingham2022.com. A range of Birmingham 2022 clothing is also available to buy from today. A Perry plush toy and a wide range of other products will be available to buy this summer.
Chief Executive of Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, Ian Reid, said:
“Perry is everything I hoped our mascot would be and more: bright, colourful, energetic and totally representative of modern Birmingham and the West Midlands. Perry celebrates diversity, community, and our region’s heritage as well as its future.
“From today, Perry becomes a powerful icon for Birmingham 2022 all over the world, and you’ll be seeing a lot more of him during the countdown to the Games. He is a symbol of the coming together of the Commonwealth in Birmingham, and I am sure young and old will love him as much as I do!”
President of Commonwealth Games England and Olympic champion, Denise Lewis OBE, said:
“When I helped to launch the mascot competition last year, I knew the imagination of our children would produce an inspiring and unique mascot like Perry. I was blown away by the creativity of the children who took part in the Virtual Mascot Summit, and it’s lovely to see so many of the ideas we discussed come to life in this mascot.
“Perry represents the heritage of Birmingham and the West Midlands, as well as what the modern region stands for. Perry is right up there with the fantastic mascots I’ve seen during my athletics career, and I can’t wait to see him entertaining the crowds during the Games next year!”
Emma Lou was told the news she’d won the competition with a special visit from Perry to her home in Bolton. She said:
“I feel as if I’m in a dream! I think the mascot is great, he looks so cute. I am really excited to come to the Commonwealth Games and it will be amazing to see Perry in the Opening Ceremony.
“I chose a bull because of the Bullring in Birmingham, and I decided to use hexagons because they are the strongest shape and the whole world depends on each other. I am so excited that my design will be seen by so many people!”
Eric Lou, Emma’s father, said he is bursting with pride:
“I am so proud of Emma. It is such an honour for her design to be chosen to inspire the Birmingham 2022 mascot, and as a family we can’t wait to come to Birmingham for the Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games. It will be such a special experience that I am sure Emma will remember for the rest of her life.
“I was so impressed by Emma’s mascot design. She has taken the Brummie bull and made him extra special. Her design is all about the strength that comes with bringing people together, and that couldn’t be a more powerful message right now.”
CGF President Dame Louise Martin DBE said:
“Welcome Perry to the Commonwealth Games Family! This friendly kind and cheeky bull represents the wonderful culture and heritage of Birmingham, and the Commonwealth. We have been fortunate to have some iconic Commonwealth Games mascots in recent times, including the patriotic and adventurous thistle Clyde for Glasgow 2014, and Borobi the koala for Gold Coast 2018, who is now working hard in Australia as an indigenous language champion.
“Perry joins this illustrious group and becomes an instant icon and a proud symbol for Birmingham 2022 across the world. I am sure he will be loved by Commonwealth citizens of all ages and I have no doubt that the Perry toy will be one of the ‘must have’ items when he goes on sale this summer in the newly launched Birmingham 2022 online shop. I can’t wait to meet him!”
Nigel Huddleston, Minister for Sport and Tourism, said:
"Perry will be the face of Birmingham 2022 for millions of people in the UK and around the world. It is fantastic to see him come to life in this way.
"Congratulations to Emma for coming up with this thoughtful and imaginative design, which is such a fitting reflection of everything we want Birmingham 2022 to stand for."
Craig Cooper, Birmingham City Council’s Programme Director for Birmingham 2022, said:
“Perry perfectly represents the energy, fun, heritage and bold ambition of Birmingham as a Proud Host City. The unveiling of the mascot is another major milestone on the road to the Games and I cannot wait to see the enthusiasm and joy he brings for people across the Commonwealth in the weeks and months to come. Congratulations to Emma for her design, which will become one of the enduring images associated with the Games.”
To find out more about Perry, head to www.birmingham2022.com/mascot – including how to #PoseWithPerry using augmented reality on a mobile phone.