Raider Red is presented with a $20,000 check from Capital One.
MCLEAN, Va. - After 16 weeks of head-to-head matchups and millions of votes, the 11th annual Capital One Mascot Challenge came down to the final championship round between undefeated Cocky of South Carolina, and 2003 National Mascot of the Year, and Raider Red of Texas Tech who succumbed to only one loss during regular season voting. And while it was expected to be a close battle, Raider Red's final victory over Cocky was an upset heard around the mascot nation. In addition to claiming the ultimate mascot bragging rights for winning the 2012 title, Raider Red will also receive $20,000 toward his collegiate mascot program, provided by Capital One.
"I don't do this for the prize money or the fame, I do it for pride and for all of the loyal Texas Tech fans," said Raider Red through a mascot interpreter. "I'd like to give a shout out to Cocky on a hard-fought competition and to thank the loyal and passionate Texas Tech fans who helped me claim this honor."
This year's Capital One Mascot Challenge was full of surprises, highlighted by the participation of two ferocious females - Ms. Wuf from N.C. State and Wilma T. Wildcat from Arizona - for the first time in its 11-year history. The females served as solid competitors and Ms. Wuf finished in the top four in the overall competition. Additionally, for each mascot, Capital One partnered with college football expert and prognosticator Phil Steele who developed the first-ever MascotMeter, a weekly power ranking of all 16 mascots in the competition.
Fans also got a behind-the-scenes look inside the Capital One Mascot Training Camp, a place where mascots become the best of the best. The mascots learned about cohabitation, social media etiquette and everyday manners. The quirky video vignettes can be viewed at www.CapitalOneBowl.com/videos.
"Congratulations to Raider Red on an impressive run to claim the 2012 Capital One Mascot Challenge title," said Marc Mentry, Senior Vice President, Capital One Brand Marketing. "Year in and year out this competition showcases the strong passion that fans have for their mascots and schools. The Red Raider Nation came out strong to help Raider Red claim this honor."
The complete 2012 Capital One All-America Mascot Team included:
Raider Red of Texas Tech University
Wilma T. Wildcat of University of Arizona
Cocky of University of South Carolina
Wolfie Jr. of University of Nevada
Sebastian the Ibis of University of Miami
Bucky Badger of University of Wisconsin
Ms. Wuf of North Carolina State University
Mike the Tiger of Louisiana State University
Cam the Ram of Colorado State
The Duck of University of Oregon
YoUDee of University of Delaware
Cosmo of Brigham Young University
Truman the Tiger of University of Missouri
Testudo of University of Maryland
Sparty of Michigan State University
Scarlet Knight of Rutgers University
Throughout this year's competition, fans had the chance to participate in a "write-in" vote at www.capitalonebowl.com to determine which mascot would receive an automatic place on the 2013 Capital One Mascot Challenge team roster. Only one mascot could be chosen and this year's write-in vote winner is Rocky of the University of Toledo.
Raider Red will join an elite group of mascots who have held the title over the past 11 years of the program. Past winners include: Monte of University of Montana (2002, 2004), Cocky of University of South Carolina (2003), Herbie Husker of University of Nebraska (2005), Butch T. Cougar of Washington State University (2006), Zippy of University of Akron (2007), Cy of Iowa State University (2008), Bearcat of University of Cincinnati (2009), Big Blue of Old Dominion University (2010) and Wolfie Jr. of University of Nevada (2011).
About Capital One
Capital One Financial Corporation (www.capitalone.com) is a financial holding company whose subsidiaries, which include Capital One, N.A., and Capital One Bank (USA), N. A., had $213.3 billion in deposits and $302.0 billion in total assets outstanding as of September 30, 2012. Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Capital One offers a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients through a variety of channels. Capital One, N.A. has approximately 1,000 branch locations primarily in New York, New Jersey, Texas, Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. ING DIRECT, a division of Capital One, N.A., offers direct banking products and services to customers nationwide. A Fortune 500 company, Capital One trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "COF" and is included in the S&P 100 index.
Capital One, an NCAA corporate champion, began its affiliation with college sports with the sponsorship of the 2001 Capital One Florida Citrus Bowl (now the Capital One Bowl) and ESPN's Capital One Bowl Week. In addition, Capital One sponsors the ABC College Football Halftime Report, Capital One All-America Mascot Team, all 88 NCAA Championships including the Division I Men's and Women's Basketball Championships, and numerous other collegiate athletics programs.