Posted by Tim Cigelske on January 23, 2011 Jump To Comments
Seven months ago, Todd Sanders appeared on this blog and made the prediction that “the Bears will still suck” in the upcoming season. He was right.
What he could not have predicted was that he would be driving a $100K 2012 Mercedes-Benz from Los Angeles to Dallas to watch the Packers after Green Bay defeated the Bears in the NFC Championship game.
Starting Feb. 2nd, four two-person teams of Twitter users will embark from New York, L.A., Chicago or Tampa in race to the game in Dallas. Along the way they’ll have to complete challenges in what Mercedes calls “the world’s first Twitter-fueled race.”
In this Q+A, Todd (aka @tsand on Twitter) talks about how he found himself in the middle of a surreal trip of a lifetime.
How did all this get started?
My friend Barbara Nixon shot me a tweet asking if I had heard about the Mercedes-Benz Tweet Race. she’s the real deal, so I knew if she was sharing it, I’d be interested. Checked it out. Was super simple to enter, typed in my twitter handle and waited to hear if I made it to Round Two.
How exactly does this contest work?
A set amount of tweets using the #MBteamS hashtag to go a mile (pretty sure our team captain Pete Wentz‘s fans will be able to provide us with this fuel). We also get social points when our team completes challenges on our behalf. I have no idea what these challenges will be, but my co-driver John Pederson and I will do a test run on Wednesday, January 26 to see how our followers react to our requests. (ex. post a pic to twitter of something you can drink) There will also be “social media” challenges along our route (L.A. to Tuscon to Roswell to Dallas) to complete. They could tie me to a chair and do that torture scene from Casino Royale and I wouldn’t care. Going to Dallas for the game, baby!!!
Who is your competition? Do you hate them more than the Bears?
Yes, I realize half of the people who read this post and decide to join a team in the race will pick them. Unless over half of your readers are male, then the number could go even higher. Heck, I picked them. :)
Team E: Two quality guys that I’ll enjoy drinking beer with in Dallas. One is even a Packers fan. But the other still sucks.
Team GL: Two moms from Chicago, seem like lovely ladies and I hope they don’t run into traffic in Milwaukee (they start in Chicago and head to Minneapolis before heading south to Dallas – hint).
Team S: Us. The ONLY team to declare an allegiance to an NFL team in our official bio that determines who people vote for. We’ve alienated a few people, but serious, if you want to win, you don’t want losers on your team (talking to you, Bears fans).
How can people follow your race?
It’s Mercedes-Benz, I’m guessing you’ll have everything you’ll need to watch, listen and feel the race as long as you have an Internet connection. I have no clue what’s going to happen once the race starts, but I’d bet they do it up right.
What sort of strategy are you going to be following?
Have fun, do good. The fun thing is a given. The do good thing kind of snuck up on me. Not going to lie, the thought of taking a road trip from L.A. to Dallas in a $100K S400 hybrid with 4-stage massage front seats is insane… winning my wife a C-Class coupe (to pay her back for going on the adventure of a lifetime) is sweet… BUT nothing tops the feeling I get inside thinking of the money we’re raising for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Serious. Call BS, but I kid you not, something inside of me has awoken, I’ve always believed in karma, but getting St. Jude $50K makes me feel like I’m helping a tad more than usual. Best feeling in the world, even better than a 1500 mile road trip with 4-stage massage chairs and attending the awesomest game on earth.
St. Jude gets $25K no matter what, but Mercedes-Benz kicks in another donation of $20K if we win the race. John and I are attempting to raise another $5K on our donation site. Minimum donation amount is $5, would love for any who can afford it to donate. As a special incentive, we’re reading off the list of donors (if you give your name) town crier style during the game and posting it to YouTube.
You won Packers tickets from Clay Matthews earlier this season in a Twitter contest. Did that prepare you for this contest in any way?
Yes. Mr. Matthews asked for a video with a super quick turn around time. The magic happens in the idea stage, but quick turnarounds up the ante. I think being able to storyboard, shoot and edit within hours isn’t every easy, but it becomes less hectic the more you attempt to do it. For Round Two of the Tweet Race we had to submit a 2 minute video, it was over my holiday break so I was able to commit 100% of my time to it (yes I kid, we have three kids and Christmas is crazy… I stayed up 42 hours straight to knock it out).