Cheerleaders Vie For ‘Mascot of the Year’


Big Bird Campus

Isiah Reyes, El Vaquero Staff Writer

Capital One’s annual “Mascot of the Year” contest featured Glendale College’s cheerleading team in its promotional commercial, inviting fans all across the nation to vote for their favorite mascot.

Each year, several mascots from various schools are nominated to “play” a simulated 12-week season and an additional four rounds of playoffs for the winners. The mascot with the best record will be declared the winner and is honored at halftime at the Capital One Bowl game on ESPN, which typically takes place on Jan. 1.

Filming for the minute-long commercial took place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Glendale College in July.

“It was fun and a good experience,” said cheerleader Oliver Vega. “We got to meet new mascots from different states, like from Idaho and Texas.”

Others added that the commercial was great for team bonding.

“In the downtime, we actually did bond a lot,” said cheerleader Dustin Jones. “We were able to hang out and talk and we learned a lot about each other.”

The mascot featured was named Cy the Cardinal, who is a red cardinal sporting a white jersey. He represents Iowa State University. Cy has won two national mascot challenges: the CBS Sportsline “Most Dominant College Mascot on Earth” in 2007 and the “Capital One Bowl National Mascot of the Year” in 2008.

“It sucked [for the man inside the costume] because he had to wear that cardinal suit in the heat,” said Vega. “He was pouring sweat.”

“We definitely respect mascots a lot more now with how much they have to go through in those costumes,” said Jones.

For participating in this commercial, the team was funded to set up camps. The funds came from Capital One.

“We hope we keep doing gigs like this to build our team name because we want to be on the map and we’re determined to do that this year,” said cheerleader Emmi Rosales.

The winning school will be awarded $20,000 toward their mascot program. In this case that would be Iowa State, not Glendale College.

“It’s a great promotional tool to target college students,” said Jones. “It’s a business model that brings something fun to the table.”

The weekly challenges are currently in week four out of 16. Cy is in ninth place on the standings out of 16 competing mascots, who come from universities such as Arizona State and Maryland, among others. Last year’s winner was Big Blue from Old Dominion University.

The Capital One “National Mascot of the Year” is determined by Internet voting at, Facebook voting at and through texting.

The commercial is on YouTube under the title “Capital One CY ft. Glendale College Cheerleading.” The videos for the other mascots can be viewed at: