Restaurant Surprise: Christmas Comes Early for Panthers Fans

Betricia McNeill, of Greensboro, North Carolina, will be taking her husband to his first Carolina Panthers game, as the winner of Pepsi’s Snap It/Send It Sweepstakes!

As a supervisor at Fox Pizza & Subs in Greensboro, N.C., Betricia McNeill stares at 24-packs of Pepsi all day long. One recent afternoon, she was loading Pepsi cans in the backroom cooler when the roaring Carolina Panthers logo caught her eye.

Betricia snapped a pic of the beast with her camera phone and emailed it to Panthers@Pongr.com. In a few seconds, she was entered in the Carolina Panthers Snap It/Send It Sweepstakes.

“I didn’t even tell my husband Steven about it because I didn’t want to disappoint him,” she recalls. “I didn’t want to get my hopes up too high because I’ve never really won anything before.”

By now, you may have guessed that Betricia won that Sweepstakes (we don’t have the resources to profile everyone who doesn’t win). And she’ll be taking Steven and two yet-to-be-named friends to Bank of America Stadium this Sunday to watch the Panthers take on the Oakland Raiders.

Betricia is originally from Jamaica, where NFL fever takes a backseat to soccer, but since meeting Steven she’s pretended to love football.  Isn’t that what marriage is all about?

“To be honest, I sometimes watch the Panthers just to be with him. He tries to explain what’s going on, but it’s not really part of my culture,” she says. “But I’m catching up.”

Betricia McNeill surprised her husband Steven with the best Christmas present ever — premium seats to watch his beloved Carolina Panthers.

Steven, meanwhile, is a Panthers fanatic who frequently lives out his football fantasies through the Madden NFL game on Playstation 2.

“He and his friends are always talking about their plays on PS2 but Steven has never been to a game live,” Betricia says. “He was so excited. Of course, we have many more people who want to go with us than we have tickets. We have to make some big decisions.”

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.

Betricia says she is a lifelong Pepsi fan who prefers drinking her soda half-frozen, a delicate operation for anyone who’s ever left a can in the freezer too long. She adds that she misses the glass Pepsi bottles common in her native Jamaica.

Pongr CEO Jamie Thompson, who’s not eligible to win any Pongr-powered promotions, loves to help brands engage with their most loyal fans.

Although Steven is reportedly a die-hard fan win-or-lose, Betricia is naturally hoping for a win this weekend for the hard-luck 5-9 Panthers.

“That would make him so happy!” she says.

Ditto for the other 73,774 fans at Bank of America Stadium.

(Check out our other profiles of previous Pepsi/Panthers contest winners Tony Carter, a U.S. Army veteran who just attended his first NFL game ever; and Brandy McDaniel, a social services counselor who almost threw her winning carton of Pepsi in the trash before Pongr’ing it!)

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