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The Battle for Mascot Supremacy Kicks Off as Capital One Announces the All-America Mascot Team

August 12, 2004 at 9:25 AM EDT

Dogs, Birds, Turtles and Gophers Do Their Colleges Proud With Nominations to Coveted 12 Member Mascot Team

MCLEAN, Va., Aug. 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- As the campaign for the West Wing heats up, 12 other candidates have already put their best foot -- or wing or paw or claw -- forward in a very different election -- the honor of being named to the Capital One All-America Mascot team. After a grueling nomination process across universities and colleges nationwide, Capital One is proud to announce the members of the 3rd Annual Capital One All-America Mascot Team:

                 The 2004 Capital One All-America Mascot Team

                     Air Force Academy -- The Bird
                     Auburn University -- Aubie
                     James Madison University -- Duke Dog
                     University of Georgia -- Hairy Dawg
                     University of Kentucky -- Scratch
                     University of Maryland -- Testudo
                     University of Montana -- Monte
                     University of Nevada/Las Vegas -- Hey Reb
                     University of South Carolina -- Cocky
                     Virginia Tech -- Hokie Bird
                     Western Kentucky University -- Big Red
                     University of Minnesota -- Goldy Gopher

"Mascots are the heart and soul of every team," said Diana Don Colby at Capital One. "We are thrilled to give these 12 high-octane mascots the recognition they deserve as members of the 2004 Capital One All-America Team. Not only do they have bragging rights as part of this elite team, but the mascots will be featured in a national TV campaign."

Over the past three years, Capital One has helped thrust the spotlight on these unsung heroes of the gridiron. In addition to starring in a national advertising campaign, team members each receive $5,000 worth of funds for their school's mascot program.

This year's fuzzy crew was chosen from Division IA and IAA athletic programs with college football teams. A panel of judges, including mascot guru and historian, Dr. Roy Yarbrough; former college mascot and current sports marketer from Richmond Sports Backers Scott Schricker; and representatives from ESPN and Capital One, carefully analyzed each contender and scored them based on the following criteria: (1) interaction with fans, (2) sportsmanship and (3) community service.

"Fans have no idea how hot it is inside of those mascot costumes," said Scott Schricker, Contest Judge. "The ability to display passion and energy inside of a 100 degree costume in front of thousands of screaming fans is a lot harder than it looks. It's great that Capital One decided to reward these unknown heroes of college football with their very own All-America Team."

Mascot of the Year Competition

Capital One wants to know who is the best party starter in college football. Starting October 11, voters from across the country have the chance to vote for their favorite dog, bird and other loveable crowd pleasers as they battle it out in a weekly online voting contest for mascot supremacy at http://www.capitalonebowl.com. Voting will consist of 11 weekly match ups between the finalists (polls close on December 26). The mascot with the best win/lost record will win the online portion of the contest. This online "popular" vote will be combined with a judges' ranking (50/50 weighting) to determine who gets the ultimate title. The winning character will be pronounced National Mascot of the Year on January 1, 2005 during the nationally televised Capital One Bowl on ABC.

About Capital One

Capital One Financial Corporation (http://www.capitalone.com) is a holding company whose principal subsidiaries, Capital One Bank and Capital One FSB, offer consumer lending products. Capital One, a Fortune 500 company headquartered in McLean, 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's affiliation with college football began with the sponsorship of the 2001 Capital One Florida Citrus Bowl (now the Capital One Bowl) and ESPN's Bowl Week. In addition, Capital One sponsors the ABC College Football Halftime Report and numerous other college football programs.

SOURCE Capital One Financial Corporation

CONTACT: Diana Don Colby of Capital One Financial Corporation,
+1-703-720-2371, diana.don@capitalone.com; or Stephanie Smith of MS&L,
+1-212-468-4057, stephanie.smith@mslpr.com, for Capital One Financial
Corporation
Web site: http://www.capitalonebowl.com
http://www.capitalone.com
(COF)