Sam The Minuteman Named To Capital One All-America Mascot Team
Aug. 31, 2005
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."
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:
"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. 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.
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