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Capital One Names 2005 All-America Mascot Team and Kicks Off Race for Mascot of the Year

August 31, 2005 at 8:03 AM EDT

College Mascots Put Their Best Paws Forward to Win America's Votes for King of the Jungle

MCLEAN, Va., Aug. 31 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Capital One (NYSE: COF) today announced the members of the fourth annual Capital One All-American Mascot Team, made up of 12 lovable, hard-working and oddly-proportioned characters deemed the best of the beasts. And the fuzz and fur are flying as the 12 vie for the most coveted title in the land -- "Capital One Mascot of the Year."

Starting September 1st, fans can vote online at http://www.capitalonebowl.com, for their favorite All-American, who will be announced during the Capital One Bowl on January 2. This year's contest features a weekly head-to-furry-head face-off among this year's All-Americans:

                                The Contenders

     Auburn University - Aubie        University of Miami - Sebastian
     Baylor University - Bruiser      University of Nebraska - Herbie Husker
     UCLA - Joe Bruin                 Purdue University - Purdue Pete
     Georgia Tech - Buzz              University of South Carolina - Cocky
     University of Kansas - Big Jay   University of Tennessee - Smokey
     Univ. of Massachusetts - Sam     Washington State - Butch T. Cougar
      the Minuteman

"We created this contest to celebrate the unsung heroes of college football," said Pam Girardo at Capital One. "These lovable characters have been cheering on their teams relentlessly, and now they need the favor returned."

The fan vote is the sole determinant of the winner; the people choose. Voting consists of 11 weekly match ups between the All-Americans. The mascots with the best win/loss records face off in online playoffs in December. The winner will be pronounced Capital One National Mascot of the Year on January 2, 2006 during the Capital One Bowl.

"Mascots work as hard as anyone on the field, but are lost in the shadows of the flashy all-star quarterbacks and running backs," said David Raymond, mascot expert and original Phillie Phanatic. "This is a great tribute to them, and fans should show their support. Bragging rights are on the line."

This year's fuzzy crew was chosen from Division IA and IAA athletic programs with college football teams. They made the squad after being ranked on mascot musts such as interaction with fans, originality and pedigree. The panel of judges included mascot guru and historian, Dr. Roy Yarbrough, and representatives from ESPN and Capital One.

Over the past three years, Capital One has helped thrust the spotlight on these unsung heroes of the gridiron. Team members star in a national advertising campaign, which this year features the mascots participating in the M Games, a series of unusual (and fictitious) competitions. In addition to the hoopla, each mascot receives $5,000 for its school's mascot program. Mascot of the Year receives an additional $5,000 scholarship to help fund its school's mascot program.

MASCOT MOBILE TOUR

Get ready for mascot mayhem. Capital One's Mobile Mascot Tour will be traveling across the country throughout the Fall, stopping at each All- American's campus to offer fans the ultimate mascot experience, including photo opportunities, mascot facts and statistics, voting stations, interactive games and more. "The mascot tour is a celebration of mascots, and should inspire more fans to support their mascot and vote," said Girardo. The tour kicks off at Washington State University on September 1.

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: Pam Girardo of Capital One, +1-703-720-2351, pam.girardo@capitalone.com, or Peter Collins, +1-212-601-8304, peter.collins@porternovelli.com, for Capital One