Published: Aug. 29, 2011

MSU's Sparty competes in Capital One Mascot Challenge

Contact(s): Jennifer Orlando Media Communications office: (517) 353-4355 cell: (517) 980-0076, Dan DiMaggio Student Alumni Foundation office: (517) 355-6472

EAST LANSING, Mich.  — This year, the Capital One Mascot Challenge is going Spartan green.

For the first time in the challenge's 10-year history, Michigan State University's mascot Sparty is one of 16 mascots on the Capital One All-America Mascot Team that will vie for the title of "Capital One National Mascot of the Year."

The mascots will go head-to-head for 12 weeks throughout the college football season in a battle determined exclusively by fan voting. 

"We are thrilled and thankful to be able to participate in a competition that will rally all Spartans across the nation to support not only Sparty, but Michigan State University," said Dan DiMaggio, director of the Student Alumni Foundation, which oversees the Sparty Mascot Program.  "This is an opportunity for Spartans around the world to show that Sparty is not only the No. 1 mascot in the country, but that the pride each of us has in calling ourselves a Spartan is unmatched by anyone."

Regular season voting officially opened at noon Aug. 29 and will continue weekly through Nov. 21, 2011. Fans will be able to vote at, on Facebook at and via text voting. Text SPARTY to 78527 during the valid voting window.

After the 12 weeks of regular competition, the top eight mascots with the best head-to-head records will then compete in a bracket-style, single-elimination competition to determine the overall winner. 

The Capital One National Mascot of the Year will be announced at the Capital One Bowl on Jan. 2, 2012. The winning mascot will be awarded a $20,000 prize to help fund its school’s mascot program. Each of the 2011 Capital One All-America team members will receive $5,000 for their university mascot program.

Sparty's first opponent is Buzz from Georgia Tech. Follow along using the Twitter hashtag #VoteSparty.


Michigan State University has been working to advance the common good in uncommon ways for more than 150 years. One of the top research universities in the world, MSU focuses its vast resources on creating solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges, while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community through more than 200 programs of study in 17 degree-granting colleges.