After over two months of voting on the internet, with 1.7 million votes cast, this Sunday evening (25.11), the official name of the 2014 FIFA World Cup mascot was officially announced. The winning name was Fuleco. The three-banded armadillo (Tolypeutes tricinctus) is a native animal of Brazil and was chosen to represent the tournament.
Fuleco got 48% of the votes. The other names in the running were Zuzeco, which managed 31% of the votes and Amijubi, 21%. The three choices were decided by a special committee. The name Fuleco is a fusion of the words futebol (football) and ecologia (ecology) in Portuguese.
The character was chosen by FIFA and the World Cup Local Organising Committee (LOC) after assessing 47 proposals from six Brazilian publicity agencies. After extensive research, the three-banded armadillo, created by 100% Design was identified as the target audience’s favourite: children between the ages of 5 and 12.
Brazil's 2014 official mascot is the most recent in a long line of characters that have become part of the competition's history. Following the steps of characters such as Zakumi (South Africa 2010), Goleo (Germany 2006) and going all the way back to Willie (England 1966), the mascot is one of the tournament's main images, providing FIFA, LOC and other stakeholders with a strong brand for delivering publicity campaigns and getting in touch with the public.
» Find out more about the three-banded armadillo, Brazilian animal that has served as inspiration for the World Cup mascot
» The Official Mascot also has his own official song, “Tatu Bom de Bola”, sung by Brazilian music star Arlindo Cruz (watch the video)
» To visit the mascot’s home, please go to www.FIFA.com/mascot
According to FIFA, emphasising the importance of the environment is one of the goals of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. Results of a public poll conducted by FIFA in 2012 in Brazil confirm the relevance of issues related to sustainability and the environment for the host country's public. Over 90% of Brazilians believe that the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil should be ecologically conscious.