[State College] Penn State’s athletic department announced Wednesday via ESPN that Penn State fans voted the university to victory and a $10,000 grand prize in ESPN’s College Colors contest.
The contest started on Aug. 1 and was supposed to run through Aug. 31, but ESPN said in a statement it closed voting on Aug. 24 after “inauthentic activity” on the “Pledge Your College Colors” website suddenly pushed some schools way ahead in the voting.
The full statement from ESPN was published on the Athletic Department’s website.
“Penn State has won the inaugural College Colors Day Spirit Cup, along with $10,000 toward the University’s general scholarship fund, as part of the Pledge Your Allegiance campaign. The campaign was launched by the Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC), a division of IMG College, and NCAA Football, to celebrate the excitement and energy surrounding the kickoff of the 2012 college football season. The competition encourages fans to wear their favorite school’s colors on Friday, Aug. 31.
“The campaign, a web-based rivalry powered by ESPN.com, featured 172 colleges and universities from across the nation. Penn State won with 44,801 pledges – rounding out the top five schools were Texas A&M, Missouri, West Virginia and Alabama.
“The competition began on Aug. 1; Penn State took the lead in the competition about a week into pledging and maintained its lead until the end. Penn State’s surge came as the result of a grassroots effort on the part of students, alumni, employees and fans. The contest also was promoted on Penn State’s Facebook page and on Twitter.
“We are elated to see this incredible expression of Penn State pride, spirit and support demonstrated by our students, alumni, faculty and staff, and friends and fans in winning the Pledge Your Allegiance contest,” said Roger Williams, executive director of the Penn State Alumni Association. “This national victory is what Nittany Nation is all about. We know Penn Staters everywhere will join us in celebrating by wearing their blue and white with great pride.”