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Thursday September 20, 2012UF Among Six State Universities Vying for Florida Fan Game Title

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – College football season is back and so is VISIT FLORIDA’s  “Florida Fan Game,” a contest to help Florida’s tourism-based economy and show which university has Florida’s best fans. The Florida Fan Game is an initiative of VISIT FLORIDA’s Share A Little Sunshine program, engaging Floridians to support tourism by inviting friends and family to visit the Sunshine State.

For the second time, VISIT FLORIDA has teamed up with six major Florida universities for the contest:  Florida A&M University, Florida State University, University of Central Florida, University of Florida, University of Miami and University of South Florida. Last year, the Florida Gators took top honors sending 23,000 invitations to friends and family.  But will they win again this year?

With more than 10 million fans of the six participating colleges and universities in Florida, this is a great way for Floridians to take part in improving the state’s economy. The average trip value of visiting friends and relatives is $1,119.00.

“We know every 85 visitors support a job for another Floridian and, by rallying the state’s 10 million passionate college football fans, together we can all have a huge impact on Florida’s economy,” said Chris Thompson, President & CEO of VISIT FLORIDA. In 2011, 87.3 million tourists visited the Sunshine State.

As part of the “Florida Fan Game” launch, public service announcements by each of the six university head football coaches are airing through a partnership with the Florida Association of Broadcasters. The TV spots feature head coaches Will Muschamp, Jimbo Fisher, Al Golden, Skip Holtz, George O’Leary and Joe Taylor.

“The diversity of vacation opportunities makes Florida the No. 1 travel destination in the world, and the state’s rich college football legacy means we have the country’s best fans,” said Will Seccombe, Chief Marketing Officer for VISIT FLORIDA. “The Florida Fan Game taps into the passion and competition that defines Florida football and leverages it to increase travel to the state, scoring a win-win for the fans and the state’s economy.”

Florida Fan Game Details

Starting Friday, September 14, fans began playing at the Florida Fan Game site at, where they find Florida travel invitations representing each of the six universities. Fans can personalize their invitations and send them to their Facebook friends, adding a point each time on behalf of the selected school. Recipients will get an invitation to come to the Sunshine State, accompanied by a $25 coupon for Southwest Airlines flights into Florida.

Day to day throughout football season, the online scoreboard will track the number of invitations sent by each school. The school whose fan base sends the most invitations by December 3rd wins the title of “Florida’s No. 1 Fans.” There is also a grand prize for one lucky fan who will drive home in a new Mazda CX-5 car. Fans can win other prizes, too, including game tickets and great deals on attractions, hotels and restaurants, while helping their university win the title and statewide bragging rights.

VISIT FLORIDA is hosting the Florida Fan Game, with support from its tourism partners, Southwest Airlines, IMG College and the six participating universities, led by their head football coaches.

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