PLANO, Texas, Dec. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Tostitos, the brand known for making anytime party time, turned football dreams into reality yesterday for select U.S. military veterans by transforming a seemingly ordinary football game to support Got Your 6 and benefit the Pat Tillman Foundation into the ultimate football party and star-studded event. This one-of-a-kind on-field surprise party – created to celebrate the homecoming of veterans who have previously served overseas – was complete with legendary college football players and coaches, including Bobby Bowden, Urban Meyer, Kurt Warner and Marcus Allen; actor and screenwriter, Owen Wilson; sideline reporting from Eric Stonestreet; and a performance by chart-topping musical guest, Gym Class Heroes. Highlights from the surprise party were captured on film and will be televised nationally during the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl broadcast on ESPN on Jan. 3, 2013. The highlights will also be available on the Tostitos Facebook Page at www.Facebook.com/Tostitos following the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl broadcast. Tostitos, one of the flagship brands from PepsiCo's Frito-Lay division has been the title sponsor of the Fiesta Bowl, part of the Bowl Championship Series, for the past 18 years.
"The Tostitos brand is all about making anytime party time, and we couldn't think of a better reason to throw a party than to thank the men and women in uniform for their service and sacrifice overseas," said Tony Matta, vice president, marketing, Frito-Lay. "Making it a surprise and seeing this transformation unfold made this homecoming celebration even more unforgettable and exciting for everyone involved."
How the Surprise Homecoming Party HappenedTwenty eight unsuspecting service men and women arrived onsite at Cerritos College just south of Los Angeles ready to play a casual game of flag football to benefit Got Your 6 and the Pat Tillman Foundation. Unbeknownst to them, more than 12,000 fans were eagerly awaiting their arrival, ready to cheer them on as they entered the jam-packed stadium. While suiting up for the game, legendary college football coaches, Bowden and Meyer, arrived announcing they would each be leading a team, calling the plays and coaching their respective players to victory. The service men and women were then joined by former college and professional football greats, Allen and Warner, who revealed they, too, would be joining the game to play alongside the veterans. As the players ran through the tunnel and took the field, they were greeted by the thousands of cheering fans, a group of cheerleaders and the sounds of two full-fledge marching bands, making it clear that something big was happening.
As the players divided into two teams—Team Liberty and Team Freedom—they received the ultimate surprise—their final team member—well-known actor and screenwriter, Owen Wilson. Suddenly, this was no longer a casual game of flag football; it was the football party of a lifetime.The game was action-packed, kept fans on the edge of their seats and ultimately saw Team Freedom achieve victory with a score of 26-20. Warner, traditionally known for his passing game, ran for two touchdowns. The last two minutes included game-changing plays made by both sides. With 41 seconds to go, Team Freedom took the lead. With four seconds left, Wilson had the game-winning, end-zone interception for Team Freedom.