Rocky Wins Capital One Mascot Challenge

January 01, 2014

TAMPA (Jan. 1, 2014) – University of South Florida students, alumni, staff and fans have helped Rocky The Bull earn the distinguished honor of being named Capital One National Mascot of the Year.

The Capital One Mascot Challenge provides a unique platform for supporters to display their school pride while voting each week for their favorite mascots. The outpouring of support propelled Rocky past LSU’s Mike the Tiger, Wisconsin’s Bucky Badger, defending champ Raider Red of Texas Tech and Kansas’ Big Jay among 15 competitors.

"The entire University of South Florida community is thrilled for Rocky," President Judy Genshaft said. "All of the mascots competing in this year's challenge were a wonderful reflection of the pride and passion of their respective universities. Rocky has always been first in our hearts, and now the rest of the nation can see how wonderfully he represents our exuberant and unstoppable USF students and alumni." 

Rocky finished the competition with a perfect record, the first-ever mascot to accomplish that feat, and USF will receive a generous gift of $20,0000 that will go toward its mascot program. Rocky was honored on New Year’s Day at the Capital One Bowl game in Orlando.

“The enthusiasm and dedication USF fans have sustained during this 16-week competition has been inspiring,” USF Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Doug Woolard said.  “Rocky the Bull is truly loved, and we are thrilled with the fan support he received during this challenge that helped him be crowned the champion.”

Capital One introduced a new element of voting for this year’s competition that took fans’ dedication to a whole new level with the addition of 25 and 100-point social media challenges which allowed fans to show their creative side and go all-out for their mascots.  Fans were asked to upload unique content on social media using a special hashtag for their mascot to earn additional points.  The unique weekly challenges – from creating a cheerleader-style cheer to snapping a picture while eating their mascot’s favorite tailgate dish – showcased how far fans would go for their mascot.

“The outpouring support for Rocky the Bull in the Mascot Challenge was astonishing,” said Senior Vice President of Capital One Marc Mentry said. “Rocky’s fans bulled over the entire competition giving this rookie competitor an undefeated record in the challenge!  We’re excited to add his name to the famed Capital One Mascot Challenge Winners list.”

The complete 2013 All-America Capital One Mascot Team included:

Rocky the Bull of The University of South Florida - 2013 Winner

Raider Red of Texas Tech University - 2012 Winner

Baldwin the Eagle of Boston College

Big Jay of The University of Kansas

Big Red of Western Kentucky University – Hall of Fame Inductee

Pee Dee the Pirate of East Carolina University

Rocky the Rocket of The University of Toledo - 2012 Write-In Winner

Bucky Badger of The University of Wisconsin–Madison

Cam the Ram of Colorado State University

HokieBird of Virginia Tech

Mike the Tiger of Louisiana State University

Monte of The University of Montana2002 & 2004 Winner

Smokey of The University of Tennessee

Sparty of Michigan State University 

The Duck of The University of Oregon

Wilbur T. Wildcat of The University of Arizona 

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