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Capital One Gets 'Cocky' With National Mascot of the Year(R) Selection

January 1, 2004 at 9:01 AM EST
             University of South Carolina Mascot Takes Top Honor

MCLEAN, Va., Jan. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Cocky, that tail-shaking, wing- flapping rooster from the University of South Carolina, proved he wasn't too "chicken" to take on 11 other college mascots to be named Capital One National Mascot of the Year(R). The announcement came today during the Capital One Bowl(R) in Orlando, Fla.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20040101/DCTH001 )

Unlike this year's somewhat questionable BCS standings, there's no disputing who the winner of this competition is. While the new BMOC (Big Mascot On Campus) can be a bit Cocky with the Gamecock's opponents, don't expect this national recognition to go to his head. To be named Capital One National Mascot of the Year, Cocky had to show his soft side with the fans. Cocky's selection was based on a combination of the online popular voting (50 percent) and a panel of judges' rankings (50 percent), which were used to select the 12 members of the Capital One All-America Mascot Team(R). The judges' criteria included fan interaction, demonstration of good sportsmanship and community service.

In the mascot competition, close to 4.6 million votes were cast by sports fans and mascot lovers at www.capitalonebowl.com between Sept. 4 and Dec. 22, 2003.

"Cocky is a great choice for this year's Capital One National Mascot of the Year. As far as getting a college football crowd psyched for a big game, he's right up there with 2003 Heisman(R) winner Jason White in our book," said Pam Girardo, Capital One mascot spokesperson.

The other 11 All Americans who competed for National Mascot of the Year were: Brutus Buckeye (Ohio State); Aubie (Auburn University); Hairy Dawg (University of Georgia); last year's winner Monte (University of Montana); Albert (University of Florida); YoUDee (University of Delaware); Smokey (University of Tennessee); Big Red (Western Kentucky University); Scratch (University of Kentucky); Chip (University of Colorado) and Harry the Husky (University of Washington).

In addition to bragging rights, commercial and photo shoots and general hoopla, each mascot received $5,000 for his school's mascot program. Cocky received an additional $5,000 for being named Capital One National Mascot of the Year.

"This year's competition was incredible. But in the end, it was Cocky who 'crowed' supreme," Girardo said.

About Capital One

Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Capital One Financial Corporation (www.capitalone.com) is a holding company whose principal subsidiaries, Capital One Bank and Capital One, F.S.B., offer consumer lending products and Capital One Auto Finance, Inc., which offers auto loan products. Capital One's subsidiaries collectively had 46.4 million managed accounts and $67.3 billion in managed loans outstanding as of September 2003. Capital One, a Fortune 500 company, 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.

SOURCE Capital One Financial Corporation

CONTACT: Charlie Domalik, +1-804-675-8133, cdomalik@crtpr.com, for
Capital One Financial Corporation, or Pam Girardo of Capital One Financial
Corporation, +1-703-720-2351, pam.girardo@capitalone.com