Sam The Minuteman Named To Capital One All-America Mascot Team
Sam The Minuteman Named To Capital One All-America Mascot Team
Vote for Sam starting Thursday, Sept. 1 at <a href="http://www.capitalonebowl.com"class="pagelinks">www.CapitalOneBowl.com</a>.

Vote for Sam starting Thursday, Sept. 1 at www.CapitalOneBowl.com.

Aug. 31, 2005

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    MCLEAN, Va. -

    Sam The Minuteman from the University of Massachusetts has been named to the fourth annual Capital One All-America Mascot Team, made up of 12 lovable, hard-working and oddly-proportioned characters deemed the best of the beasts. Now, Sam is up for an even bigger challenge as he goes on to compete for the most coveted title in the land -- "Capital One Mascot of the Year."

    Sam The Minuteman is the only mascot from the Northeast Region.


    Starting September 1st, fans can begin casting votes online at www.capitalonebowl.com for Capital One Mascot of the Year, who will be announced during the Capital One Bowl on January 2.

    The Mascot Challenge will run throughout the football season and Sam will be featured nationally on Capital One commercials airing on the ESPN family of networks and on ABC.

    "This is a great honor for Sam and the entire University of Massachusetts," said Assistant Athletic Director for Marketing and Promotions Tamra Geryk. "Sam has inspired fans at our contests, made regional appearances to promote UMass, and is truly an icon of the history and heritage of Massachusetts. We are extremely proud to have him represent the University, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the entire Northeast Region."

    This is the second time in the past year that Sam has been featured nationally on ESPN. Last year, the Minuteman was paired with tennis great Andy Roddick and ESPN anchor John Anderson.

    Sam The Minuteman will be competing in 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 - Pete the Boilermaker Georgia Tech - Buzz University of South Carolina - Cocky University of Kansas - Big Jay University of Tennessee - Smokey Univ. of Massachusetts - Sam the Minuteman Washington State - Butch T. Cougar

    "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.

    Sam with Andy Roddick and John Anderson in his own ESPN commercial. Click Here to watch the commercial.


    "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."





    "Sam has inspired fans at our contests, made regional appearances to promote UMass, and is truly an icon of the history and heritage of Massachusetts. We are extremely proud to have him represent the University, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the entire Northeast Region."
    Tamra Geryk, Assistant AD For Marketing And Promotions


    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. Sam The Minuteman will be starring 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, Sam received $5,000 for the school's mascot program. The Capital One Mascot of the Year receives an additional $5,000 scholarship.

    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 will be in Amherst on Sept. 24 at MinuteFan Park in front of McGuirk Alumni Stadium.

    ABOUT CAPITAL ONE
    Capital One Financial Corporation (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., 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.