Brandy McDaniel has a standing Sunday message for her mother and other non-football fans: “Don’t bother me. Don’t mess with my TV. The Panthers are on!”
“My mom keeps asking me, ‘Why waste your time watching them when they’re just gonna give you another ‘L’? But I have to support my team no matter what,” says the 29-year-old disabilities counselor from Chester, S.C. “I still might shake my head at them, but they are still my team.”
Thanks to Brandy’s football-agnostic mother, she, her boyfriend Chris and two yet-to-be-named friends will be at Bank of America Stadium this Sunday to watch the Panthers take on the Atlanta Falcons — in premium end zone seats close enough to see the players sweat. It’s because of her three-Pepsi’s-a-day mom that she even noticed the Carolina Panthers Snap It/Send It Sweepstakes on an empty 18-pack carton as she was emptying her trash.
Using her mobile phone, Brandy photographed the Pepsi and Panthers logos together and emailed the pic to Panthers@Pongr.com. She was automatically entered into a weekly drawing for premium tickets.
“My mom drinks Pepsi like crazy. I took the picture in my kitchen and didn’t think about it again until I got the phone call days later when I was at work. I actually let the call go to voicemail because I didn’t recognize the area code. When I heard that I won, I couldn’t believe it. I’ve won things like free t-shirts before, but nothing like this magnitude.”
Pepsi’s Carolina Panthers Snap It/Send It Sweepstakes is being powered by Pongr, a mobile photo marketing company that turns consumer packaging and in-store displays into immediate direct-response opportunities for shoppers.
“The contest was really easy to enter,” says Brandy. “It just took a few seconds. Now all I have to do is figure out who else I want to take to the game!”
These are tough times to be a Carolina Panthers fan as they currently sit at the bottom of the NFC South standings with a dismal 3-9 record. Of course, it wasn’t always this way. The Panthers played in the Super Bowl against the New England Patriots in 2003 and were most recently in the playoffs in 2008.
Brandy’s 2-year-old son, Daniel — who will not be headed to Bank of America Stadium this weekend — has also caught Panthers fever. Perhaps it is by osmosis from his diaper bag:
“Daniel says ‘Football! Football!’ whenever he sees the Panthers logo. He also recognizes the NFL logo, too,” she adds. “He’s a true and true little boy.”
Every Sunday, Brandy wears her official Panthers jersey of wide receiver Steve Smith, whom she says “doesn’t have the big head that most pro athletes have.”
She tries to go to at least one game at Bank of America Stadium each season as a present to herself, shooting for the game closest to her October 27 birthday. This year, she couldn’t score tickets to her target game because the opposing Dallas Cowboys are too popular. She settled for going to a preseason game against the Dolphins instead.
“I’m thrilled to be going this Sunday,” she says. “I’m looking forward to enjoying some nachos, some beautiful weather and hopefully a victory. These seats will be the closet I’ve ever gotten to the field.”
(Are you a Carolina Panthers fan interested in a chance to win tickets to the December 23 game against the Oakland Raiders? Click here for more details) Also check out our profile of previous Pepsi/Panthers winner Tony Carter, a U.S. Army veteran who just attended his first NFL game ever).