Washington State's Butch T. Cougar Named Capital One Mascot of the Year
University of Iowa's Herkey the Hawk Wins Inaugural Write-in
MCLEAN, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 1, 2007--After months of fierce competition, Washington State's Butch T. Cougar proved he's king cat of the gridiron, having clawed in the majority of the millions of votes cast to earn the coveted title of Capital One Mascot of the Year. Butch edged out the slow but steady Testudo from the University of Maryland in the championship round. The highly anticipated announcement was made on air during halftime of the nationally televised Capital One Bowl. Butch bested 11 deeply talented (and oddly-proportioned) All-American mascots to bring glory (and $10,000) to Washington State University.
"This was one of the most closely watched and fiercely fought competitions to date. The fans have spoken, and named Butch T. Cougar as king of the gridiron," said Steve Schooff at Capital One. "This contest was designed to recognize the unsung heroes of college football, so we're thrilled to see so many fans get behind their mascots."
Last summer, 12 eye-catching characters were named to the Fifth Annual Capital One All-America Mascot Team, and have since been embroiled in an intense competition to be named Capital One Mascot of the Year. Since September 12th, fans have come out in force casting their vote for best beast at www.capitalonebowl.com.
The All Americans ----------------- Air Force Academy - The Bird Auburn University - Aubie Georgia Tech - Buzz North Carolina State - Mr. Wuf Syracuse University - Otto University of Kentucky - Wildcat University of Maryland - Testudo University of Oklahoma - Sooner University of Tennessee - Smokey University of Wisconsin - Bucky Badger Washington State University - Butch T. Cougar Western Kentucky University - Big Red
"We're proud of all of our All-Americans, who sacrifice their fur, sweat and tears to support their schools," added Schooff.
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 original Philly Phanatic Dave Raymond, mascot guru and historian, Dr. Roy Yarbrough, and representatives from ESPN and Capital One.
Over the past four years, Capital One has helped thrust the spotlight on these unsung champions of the gridiron. Team members star in a national advertising campaign, which this year features the mascots participating in 'Fur Factor', a series of gravity defying (and fictitious) competitions. In addition to the bragging rights, each mascot receives $5,000 for its school's mascot program. The Capital One National Mascot of the Year receives an additional $5,000 scholarship to help fund its school's mascot program.
"Butch joins a prestigious list of winners, which now consists of winners spanning from the Pacific to the Atlantic," added Schooff. Prior winners are a working man (Herbie the Husker, 2005), a grizzly bear (Univ. of Montana's Monte, 2002 and 2004) and a gamecock (Univ. of South Carolina's Cocky, 2003).
HERKEY THE HAWK WINS INAUGURAL WRITE-IN COMPETITION
The University of Iowa's Herkey the Hawk has officially become the first competitor in the 2007 Capital One Mascot Challenge. Since September 12th, die-hard fans have logged on to www.capitalonebowl.com and propelled Herkey to the top of the inaugural write-in competition, guaranteeing him a spot in next year's Mascot Challenge. Additionally, Herkey will take home $1,000 this year to put towards the University of Iowa's Mascot Program.
2006 COMPETITION RECAP
We said farewell to six of the mascots as we entered the playoffs. During week one of the playoffs (Nov. 27 - Dec. 4) Washington State's Butch T. Cougar (#6) began his march to the championship by upsetting Auburn's Aubie (#3), as Western Kentucky's Big Red (#4) smoked Tennessee's Smokey (#5) in a fight to the finish. Week two (Dec. 4 - Dec. 11) featured Mr. Wuf and Testudo against Butch T. Cougar and Big Red. Butch continued to claw his way to the top by devouring Mr. Wuf (#1) in the largest upset of the competition, while Testudo (#2) continued his steady climb to the championship round by outlasting Big Red. The final round (Dec. 11 - 18), featured Butch and Testudo battling for west coast vs. east coast bragging rights, as well as the ultimate title.
About Capital One
Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Capital One Financial Corporation (www.capitalone.com) is a financial holding company, with more than 693 locations in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Texas and Louisiana that offer a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients. As of September 30, 2006, Capital One Bank, Capital One, F.S.B., Capital One Auto Finance, Inc., and Capital One, N.A. collectively had $112.2 billion in managed loans and $47.6 billion in deposits. Its newly acquired subsidiary, North Fork Bank, had $40.9 billion in managed loans and $36.5 billion in deposits. Capital One, a Fortune 500 company, trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "COF" and is included in the S&P 100 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.
CONTACT: Capital One, McLean Steve Schooff, 972-378-8105 firstname.lastname@example.org SOURCE: Capital One Financial Corporation