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New partnership announcement features 700 free T-shirts

CMU basketball fans are familiar with the entertainment regularly provided by the university’s mascot Rowdy. Rowdy’s dancing and Maverick spirit are key staples of game night at Brownson Arena. On Friday, February 7, Rowdy will be joined by a world-famous friend — the Coca-Cola Polar Bear. The two mascots will announce a new partnership between CMU and Coca-Cola as they provide free T-shirts to the first 700 fans at the Winter Whiteout game. Rowdy and the Coca-Cola Bear will also present four new student-athlete scholarships, compete in a half-time dance-off, host a prize raffle and will introduce a Coca-Cola fan promotion called Caught Red Handed.

Local Coca-Cola representative Kelly Rowley will be at the game and is excited about the new partnership announcement.

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The Coca-Colar bear mascot
will be at CMU for photos on Feb. 7

“We don’t expect to see a single seat unused during the Winter Whiteout game,” said Rowley. “In addition to watching premier NCAA collegiate basketball, we are going to give away prizes and create a great experience for Maverick basketball fans. I am looking forward to the game and the long-term partnership between Coca-Cola and CMU.”

In addition to promotions during the Winter Whiteout game, Coca-Cola is advertising the event throughout the community on delivery vehicles to help spread the word about the importance of recycling and reusing beverage containers. The CMU Sustainability Council plans to assist the mascots in handing out T-shirts during the game.

“Each T-shirt given away during the Winter Whiteout basketball game is made from recycled plastic bottles and recycled cotton T-shirts,” said Vice President of the Council Ian Thomas. “Repurposing the products we use every day is a not just action we take, but reflects a mindset we create. The idea of wearing plastic bottles rather than tossing them away is a great message that we are proud to help promote.”

During halftime of the men’s game Coca-Cola employees will join CMU officials in announcing the official 2020 Coca-Cola Scholars who are the beneficiaries of the partnership between CMU and the beverage company.

“We have selected four outstanding student-athletes who are pursuing a discipline that reflects leadership and or sustainability,” said CMU Co-Athletic Director Kris Mort. “I am pleased that we are able to honor these students in front of the home crowd at the Winter Whiteout game.”

A mascot dance contest will be featured during halftime of the women’s game and will also include crowd giveaways. All fans are encouraged to wear white T-shirts, polos or sweatshirts to support the teams and the theme of the night.

CMU President Tim Foster believes Coca-Cola’s partnership with CMU says a lot about the university beyond athletics.

"Global brands are now competing to establish relationships with CMU because of what we represent and how we pursue education,” said Foster. “The quality of our programs, the incredible facilities we build and the students we serve are all hugely valuable assets. Coca-Cola’s desire to work with CMU on leadership and sustainability is one example of how the university benefits from strategic partnerships.”

 Fans interested in acquiring a free T-shirt should plan to arrive no later than 5:15pm on game day. 

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Written by David Ludlam