SDSU Jackrabbit included in Capital One Mascot Challenge

Image courtesy of South Dakota State UniversityHaving a Jackrabbit as a mascot doesn’t seem odd to South Dakotans. The South Dakota prairie is home to many of the animals, and South Dakota State University‘s athletic teams have been called the Jackrabbits for decades. We don’t find the name to be any more odd than, say, the University of Minnesota’s Golden Gophers.

Around the country, though, many people are surprised and amused by the use of a rabbit as a mascot. Perhaps that’s because SDSU only recently made the jump to Division I athletics, and the nation at large is being exposed to the Jackrabbits for the first time. This past season, many television viewers got their first look at the Jackrabbit mascot when the SDSU women’s basketball team made a national tournament run.

The Jackrabbit’s real coming-out party, though, is likely to be the upcoming Capital One Mascot Challenge. The Jackrabbit was recently named one of the challenge’s 12 "All-American" finalists for 2009, and sports fans all over the nation will soon see the friendly yet athletic-looking rabbit in a multitude of advertisements. Fans also will have the chance to help the Jackrabbit win the contest.

Here’s more information from an SDSU news release:

The Jackrabbit will be featured in this year’s Capital One Mascot Challenge television ads, which will be aired nationally on the ABC/ESPN family of networks. In addition the Jackrabbit will be featured in other television spots, newspaper ads, Internet media stories, blogs and other on-line videos featured on and

Voting for the mascot of the year begins on Aug. 31. The winner of the All-America Mascot Challenge will be based solely on the number of votes the mascot receives on-line at
Starting on Aug. 31, Jackrabbit fans are encouraged to visit, or click on the Vote Jackrabbit button on, and cast their votes early and often, voting once everyday.
Established in 2002, the Capitol One All-America Mascot Challenge annually crowns the top mascot in all of Division 1. Previous winners include Monte (Univ. of Montana, 2002 and 2004); Cocky (Univ. of South Carolina, 2003); Herbie Husker (Univ. of Nebraska, 2005); Butch T. Cougar (Wash. St, 2006); Zippy (Univ. of Akron, 2007) and Cy (Iowa State, 2009). The Jackrabbit was the 2009 winner of the write in votes for the Mascot Challange.

Categories: Eastern SD, General News

About Author

Seth Tupper

Seth Tupper was born and raised in South Dakota and earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from South Dakota State University in 2001. After college, he worked at a newspaper in Minnesota and then returned to South Dakota in 2003 to join the staff of The Daily Republic in Mitchell, where he is currently the publisher. Seth has won numerous awards for his writing, including the 2007 Outstanding Young Journalist award in the daily newspapers category of the South Dakota Newspaper Association's Better Newspapers Contest. Seth's day-job and freelance work have granted him opportunities to meet hundreds of South Dakotans and travel across much of the state. He also spends a lot of his free time exploring South Dakota's state and national parks, hiking trails and kayak-friendly rivers.

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