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12 College Mascots Named to Capital One All-America Mascot Team And Featured in TV Commercials

October 10, 2002 at 11:11 AM EDT
FALLS CHURCH, Va., Oct 10, 2002 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --

Mascots to Compete for National Mascot of the Year Via Online Polling

Capital One today announced the 12 members of the first-ever Capital One All-America Mascot Team. The team will be featured in an upcoming television advertising campaign asking fans to vote for their favorite mascot to be named the Capital One National Mascot of the Year during the Capital One Bowl on Jan. 1, 2003.

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"Each year, the best college football players are named to All-America teams, and for the first time ever, college mascots will have their own team," said Bill McDonald, executive vice president, brand marketing at Capital One. "Capital One feels it is time to give these unsung heroes of college football the recognition they deserve."

    Named to the inaugural mascot team are:

    Albert - University of Florida
    Big Al - University of Alabama
    Big Red - Western Kentucky University
    The Bird - U.S. Air Force Academy
    Buzz - Georgia Tech
    Monte - University of Montana
    Nittany Lion - Penn State
    Otto the Orange - Syracuse University
    Sebastian the Ibis - University of Miami
    Seymour - University of Southern Mississippi
    Smokey - University of Tennessee
    Victor E. Bull - University at Buffalo
Each of the 12 mascots will receive $5,000 for use in scholarship and funding of the school's mascot program. In addition, they will be featured in commercials that begin airing on Oct. 14 and run throughout the college football season. In the commercials, ESPN personalities Kenny Mayne and Trey Wingo host the Capital One All-America Mascot Pageant, complete with all the traditional beauty pageant components, including talent, interview and bathing suit contests.

Starting today, these 12 feathered, furry and lovable creatures will compete for the title of Capital One National Mascot of the Year. Fans across the country now can vote for their favorite mascot through real-time, online polling at . The National Mascot of the Year will be announced during the Capital One Bowl on Jan. 1, 2003. The winner will receive an additional $5,000 (for a total of $10,000) for its school.

"Mascots have a passion and an energy that keeps thousands of college football fans screaming and yelling and coming back each week for great football," McDonald said. "What better way is there to recognize these unsung heroes than to bring together the best of the best and then have the fans select online the National Mascot of the Year."

The Capital One All-America Mascot Team was opened to all NCAA Division IA & IAA school mascots representing football programs. Nomination kits, which were mailed to the Division IA & IAA athletic departments in late August, were due back on Sept. 18, 2002. A panel of judges, made up of representatives from ESPN, Capital One and the mascot community, selected and notified the 12 finalists on Sept. 21. Judging criteria included fan interaction, demonstration of good sportsmanship and community service involvement.

Capital One Financial Corporation ( ) is a holding company whose principal subsidiaries, Capital One Bank and Capital One FSB, offer consumer-lending products. Capital One's subsidiaries collectively had 48.6 million accounts and $53.2 billion in managed loans outstanding as of June 30, 2002. Capital One, a Fortune 500 company headquartered in Falls Church, Va., is one of the largest providers of MasterCard and Visa credit cards in the world. Capital One trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "COF" and is included in the S&P 500 index. Capital One is proud to continue the college football bowl tradition that began in Orlando 57 years ago by sponsoring the Capital One Bowl, which will again feature teams from the Big Ten and Southeastern Conferences on Jan. 1, 2003.

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