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The Polls Are Closing! Last Chance to Impact the Outcome of Capital One Mascot of the Year; -- Final Feeding Frenzy Across the Nation as all 12 Finalists Pull Out all the Stops --

December 16, 2004 at 10:41 AM EST

MCLEAN, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 16, 2004--With just one week left to vote, all 12 of Capital One All America Mascot finalists are frantically canvassing for votes in their quest to be crowned Capital One Mascot of the Year.

With the polls officially closing on Sunday, Dec. 26, voters will have even more influence than Ohio as they visit www.capitalonebowl.com to cast their pivotal votes. Close to 2 million votes have already been registered, but as we know, all it takes is a few passionate supporters to turn the tide.


                            The Contenders

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

According to current standings posted at www.capitalonebowl.com, James Madison University's "Duke Dog" has secured the top spot in the online portion of the competition. However, with a two-way tie for second place and a four-way tie for third place, this contest is far from over.

"While Duke Dog has secured first place in the popular vote, second through twelve are still up for grabs," said Pam Girardo at Capital One. "Last year, Cocky came in third place online but went on to win the Mascot of the Year title. This looks like it will come down to the bitter end."

Every Vote Counts!

Voting consists of 11 weekly match ups between the finalists. The mascot with the best win/loss record will win the online portion of the contest. Each mascot is assigned a point value (1-12) based on its standing in the popular vote. This is combined with a judges' ranking (1-12) which was conducted last summer when the team was selected to determine who gets the ultimate title. The winner will be announced on Jan. 1, 2005 during the nationally televised Capital One Bowl.

This year's diverse 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: (1) interaction with fans, (2) sportsmanship and (3) community service. The 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.

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 as they vie for the heart of "Maiden Melissa" in ads spoofing reality dating shows. In addition to hooplah, 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.

About Capital One

Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Capital One Financial Corporation (www.capitalone.com) is a bank holding company whose principal subsidiaries, Capital One Bank and Capital One, F.S.B., offer consumer lending products and Capital One Auto Finance, Inc., offers automobile and other motor vehicle financing products. Capital One's subsidiaries collectively had 47.2 million accounts and $75.5 billion in managed loans outstanding as of September 30, 2004. 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.

CONTACT: Capital One
Pam Girardo, (703) 720-2351
pam.girardo@capitalone.com
or
MS&L
Stephanie Smith, (212) 468-4057
stephanie.smith@mslpr.com

SOURCE: Capital One