By Susan O'Neill Posted January 22, 2009, 4:45 PM EST
A replica of the Bud Plane touched down in Yonge-Dundas Square Thursday for Budweiser's Hands on a Plane event—a five-hour competition involving 25 football fans who had the chance to win a trip to the Super Bowl. “Our contestants today will be vying for the ultimate football experience,” Ben Seaton, associate brand manager for Budweiser, said in an interview prior to the start of the event. Competitors had to complete a range of tasks—throwing a football, kicking a football, and answering NFL trivia questions—while keeping one hand on a 20-foot replica of the Bud Plane. The winner will receive a flight to Tampa, tickets to Super Bowl XLIII, and access to what Bud called V.I.P. Super Bowl parties.
“We wanted to bring that NFL and Super Bowl experience to the streets and to the fans,” Seaton said. The Bud Girls, dressed in red parkas, handed out boarding passes for a chance to compete in the event, which kicked off at noon and was scheduled to wrap up at 5 p.m. Onlookers could take part in interactive games in the Budweiser Big Rig, drink an ice-cold Budweiser in a beer garden surrounded by heat lamps, and sample a free lunch courtesy of the Pickle Barrel.
Budweiser selected Thursday's contestants through several media competitions held by outlets such as The Toronto Sun and radio station 102.1 The Edge. Ten additional fans qualified through an on-site drawing. The Hands on a Plane event is only being held in Toronto, but the Bud Plane will be used to fly winners from other competitions being held in cities across the country to the Super Bowl on February 1, Seaton said.