It's-A Me! Why Is March 10 Celebrated As Mario Day?

Today marks the annual celebration of one of the most iconic video franchises and characters of all time.

What Happened: Mario Day is celebrated annually on March 10. The date written in abbreviated form spells out Mario with the 1 and 0 replaces the letters I and O.

Nintendo Co NTDOY, which owns the franchise, began celebrating the holiday in 2016.

Mario made his debut in the 1981 video game “Donkey Kong.” Nintendo would give Mario his own game with the 1983 release “Mario Bros.” starring Mario and Luigi. Mario was created by Shigeru Miyamoto, the Japanese video game designer who also created Donkey Kong, Starfox and The Legend of Zelda.

Several retailers are participating in Mario Day by offering landing pages with discounted Mario and Nintendo games and items.

Best Buy Co Inc BBY is among the companies celebrating Mario Day.

“Celebrate all things Mario with deals on an array of Mario-themed video games, accessories, toys and more, including deals you’ll find today only,” the company said.

The Nintendo store is celebrating with a “MAR10 Day Sale” and offering discounts on digital games featuring Mario and other Nintendo characters. Deals on the site will last through Sunday, March 13.

Walmart Inc WMT is offering a “Mario Week Sale” with 21 items mentioned and all discounted to celebrate the popular character.

Related Link: Super Mario 64 Video Game Grabs Record $1.56M As Graded Sealed Game Sales Heat Up 

Why It’s Important: Like many other holidays, Mario Day is celebrated with huge sales and promotional events. Nintendo began discounting Mario games and merchandise and hosting events when they recognized the holiday in 2016.

The Super Mario franchise ranks third all time with 387.7 million units sold from more than 20 games. The Mario franchise as a whole ranks first with 740 million units sold.

Walt Disney Co DIS is another company that has embraced an annual holiday recognized by fans and used it to launch new products and events. May 4 is celebrated annually as Star Wars day with the date a play on the famous tagline “May the force be with you.”

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