PLANO, Texas – The Tostitos brand today crowned six die-hard University of Texas fans champions of this year’s Tostitos “Race to the Bowl” competition and awarded them $200,000 for their school’s general scholarship fund during the national broadcast of the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. Starting on New Year’s Eve in New York City, a team of fans from Ohio State University and the University of Texas embarked on a cross-country dash to Glendale, Ariz. – home of the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl – with stops along the way in Columbus, Ohio; Austin, Texas and Las Vegas where they competed in a variety of challenges to test their school pride and spirit. The winning team was announced, along with a highlights presentation of the entire journey, during the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl halftime show, which was televised nationally on FOX Sports.
As a long-time supporter of college football and the Fiesta Bowl, the Tostitos brand created its “Race to the Bowl” as a tribute to the ultimate true-blue college football fans and the friendships that can be fostered over the mutual devotion to their team. Tostitos recognizes the truly devoted fans as college football’s unsung heroes and rewarded the most devoted Buckeye and Longhorn fans with the trip of a lifetime with their friends to the 2009 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl and the chance to give back to their school with a scholarship contribution.
Emotions ran high as the winners were announced before the enthusiastic crowd at the University of Phoenix Stadium, and were presented with a surprise, final challenge – correctly answer one trivia question testing the team’s knowledge about past Fiesta Bowl appearances by the Longhorn football team for the chance to double the prize for their school’s scholarship fund. Following a quick team deliberation, the team of true-blue fans provided the correct answer, winning the ultimate prize of $200,000 for the University of Texas general scholarship fund.
"The Tostitos brand congratulates the winning team of University of Texas fans and we are thrilled to present them with a $200,000 scholarship for their university,” said Ann Mukherjee, group vice president, marketing, Frito-Lay North America. “What an amazing journey this has been for these groups of friends, and it has been great to see the passion and school pride from both teams. We have always seen college football as a unique opportunity that brings friends together to share fun, memorable experiences and we hope both teams of true-blue fans will remember their ‘Race to the Bowl’ as one of their highlights of 2009. We congratulate both teams on a job well done.”
The Tostitos “Race to the Bowl” put six die-hard Ohio State University fans head-to-head against six ultimate University of Texas fans in a race across America to the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl and a chance to win $100,000 for their school’s general scholarship fund. The race kicked off on New Year’s Eve day in New York City where teams faced-off for their first challenge – a football passing drill against the backdrop of the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, and then performing their school’s fight songs to earn “tips” from the public. The teams then traveled to their respective college towns for a test of hometown school spirit that had teams recruiting local fans to have their faces painted in school colors as the truest demonstration of school pride. Next, the teams competed in a football scoring competition at Planet Hollywood on The Strip in Las Vegas and then raced to Glendale, Ariz., where they completed a football training camp-style obstacle course before crossing the finish line inside the University of Phoenix Stadium.
“This entire experience has been nothing short of amazing. After hearing about the ‘Race to the Bowl,’ I knew we had to compete as we’re the loudest, most die-hard group of Longhorn fans. We definitely proved it this week,” said Dani Peebles, captain of the team of University of Texas fans. “We’re so thankful to Tostitos for not only giving us the opportunity of lifetime, but also allowing us to give back to our school. We couldn’t have asked for a better way to cheer on the Longhorns in the Fiesta Bowl.
The winning team members and their home towns include:
• Tiffany Fogarty, Austin, TX
• Shawn Fogarty, Austin, TX
• Scott Hauptmann, Kyle, TX
• Jeffrey Judkins, Austin, TX
• Megan Luther, Austin, TX
• Dani Peebles, Austin, TX
In addition to the $200,000 scholarship presented to the University of Texas, the Tostitos brand also will award a $50,000 scholarship to Ohio State University on behalf of its team of die-hard fans that competed in the Tostitos “Race to the Bowl.”
Between November 26 and December 14, 2008 the Tostitos “Race to the Bowl” received more than 1,000 entries from true-blue college football fans who boasted their unwavering school pride and spirit. Entries were submitted through the official Tostitos “Race to the Bowl” Facebook page and the competing teams were determined by a panel of Tostitos judges.
Fans can view recaps of the race by visiting the official Tostitos “Race to the Bowl” Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/TostitosRaceToTheBowl.
About Tostitos and Frito-Lay
The Tostitos brand, a registered trademark of Frito-Lay North America, provides a full line of tortilla chips and dips including Tostitos Restaurant Style Tortilla Chips, Tostitos Gold Bite Size Tortilla Chips, Tostitos Scoops! Tortilla Chips, Tostitos Salsa and Tostitos Salsa con Queso.
Frito-Lay North America is the $11 billion convenient foods business unit of PepsiCo, which is headquartered in Purchase, NY. In addition to Frito-Lay, PepsiCo business units include Pepsi-Cola, Quaker Foods, Gatorade and Tropicana.