SOCCER AND SEALS. A LABOR OF LOVE: Get to know RIFC’s new mascot, Chip

Rhode Island Football Club (RIFC), the state’s newest professional team, has been building its roster both on the field and off. They’ve been announcing new signings frequently and the majority of the squad is in place leading up to the March 16 kickoff to their inaugural season. One of their most important signings will be on the field, however, they won’t get a second of playing time. Let me introduce you to RIFC’s mascot Chip, a very Rhode Island harbor seal who’ll get fans and players revved up at home games and promote team spirit at community events. I had the privilege of speaking with Chip and their interpreter to get to know them a little better.

Bobby Forand (Motif): Tell me a little bit about yourself. How did you become the RIFC mascot
Chip: My name is Chip, and I am the official mascot of Rhode Island FC, the state’s new professional men’s soccer club. Everything about me reflects the club’s mission of being a team for all of Rhode Island.

I am a harbor seal, which is Rhode Island’s state marine animal. My name, Chip, comes from my love for Rhode Island’s fish and chips. My 13 whiskers represent Rhode Island’s history as the 13th state to sign the constitution. My nose is shaped like an anchor, and one of my palms features a map of Rhode Island. Additionally, my spots are shaped like the club’s crest.

The best way to see my unique features is to meet me at one of our home games throughout the 2024 season, including Rhode Island FC’s inaugural game, which kicks off March 16!

BF: What does being the mascot mean to you?
CHIP: Being Rhode Island FC’s mascot means everything to me! I get to spend my days traveling across the Ocean State, spreading the word about Rhode Island FC and putting smiles on people’s faces. I could not ask for a better job and can’t wait to meet more members of the Rhode Island community at upcoming events and at home games.

BF: What talents do you bring to the club?
CHIP: Every mascot knows that being a great dancer is a part of the job. When we revealed the club’s home and away jerseys, I got to show off my dancing skills in my first-ever fashion show, which was super fun! I look forward to celebrating Rhode Island FC goals by shaking my flippers with our fans!

BF: What are you doing to help the team prepare for their inaugural season?
CHIP: I help promote Rhode Island FC by being out and about in the community and growing excitement for Rhode Island FC. I want them to be as excited about coming to Beirne Stadium to watch our team play as I am!

BF: How do you spend your days off?
CHIP: When you have a job as fun as mine, you don’t need a day off, but when I have some extra time, I love all Rhode Island food, especially fish and chips and quahogs. I also love exploring all the beautiful beaches in the Ocean State.

BF: How do you think you’ll get along with the other mascots?
CHIP: I have already met most of them, and we get along just great…in the preseason. No promises when the season starts! I’m looking forward to “sealing” the deal in our inaugural season as a USL (United Soccer League) fan favorite.

BF: What are you most looking forward to about being a part of RIFC?
CHIP: I’m super excited for our home games! Our inaugural game on March 16 is right around the corner. I will be our biggest cheerleader and add extra energy to our game-day experience.

BF: How do you plan to bond with fans?
CHIP: I’m already bonding with our fans daily, and I can’t wait to meet more fans at upcoming community events and home games. One of my favorite ways to connect with our fans is by taking selfies together. I know our fans have been asking for special merchandise featuring yours truly, so be on the lookout for some new Chip items to be released this season.

BF: What is your favorite aspect of Rhode Island?
CHIP: Rhode Island has it all! It’s got wicked good food, views, and people. What better place to play the beautiful game than in the beautiful Ocean State?!

BF: Is there anything else you would like to add?
CHIP: Please come out and meet me at the Stadium. Tickets start at just $15. In addition to season ticket memberships, we just launched six-game flex plans. I encourage all of our fans to go to and snag yours before they’re gone!