Mascots might normally be funny, colorful characters, but they are not something to joke about, as the University of Toledo found out.
On Tuesday, via its verified Twitter account, the university tweeted a picture of Shrek, promising to adopt the cartoon character as its mascot if the post would get 500,000 retweets.
However, what was intended to be a tongue-in-cheek joke quickly got out of hand, with the post receiving approximately 1,000 retweets a minute at one stage and accumulating over 90,000 retweets in the three hours since it was posted.
Left with no other choice, the university backtracked and quickly deleted the tweet.
"The tweet was meant to be fun, but it caused too much of a distraction," school spokesperson Christine Billau was quoted as saying by ESPN.
The university tried to see the funny side of it and blamed Rocky the Rocket, which has served as the team's mascot since 1966, for deleting the tweet.
Of course, even if the tweet had hit the intended mark, the Ohio-based institution would have struggled to adopt Shrek as its mascot, given the green ogre is owned by DreamWorks Animation.
The animation studio, a subsidiary of Universal Pictures, owns 12 different trademarks to Shrek, which has generated more than $5 billion in revenue since the franchise made its debut in 2001.
Meanwhile, Bowling Green, one of Toledo's main rivals did not have to be asked twice to seize the opportunity to mock the Rockets.
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