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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Albert and Alberta aren’t just on the field; they’re on Tinder waiting to see who will be their next match.

The University Athletic Association has partnered with the popular location-based social-discovery app to provide two lucky winners with a Saturday night in the Swamp.

"I was just taking a look at Tinder, swiping left and right, and all of a sudden, Alberta popped up," finance freshman Brendan Barany said. "I figured, ‘How could I turn down our pretty mascot?’ So after, I swiped right, and we matched."

By swiping right and matching with the mascots, users enter a contest to experience pre-game warm-ups on the sidelines with Albert and Alberta before the Gators kick off the 2015 season.

But students weren’t even aware that by swiping they were entering.

"What contest?" Barany, 18, said. "We matched, I followed the link, and it took me to Twitter where I could post that I just got matched with her."

The contest isn’t explicitly promoted with the link Albert or Alberta provides on Tinder. Instead, it leads to Twitter, where one can tweet one of the mascots using the hashtag #SwipeRightAlbert or #SwipeRightAlberta.

"We didn’t want to put the contest out there on Tinder," said Jennifer Mereby, who coordinated the Tinder profiles at the UAA. "We wanted to treat them like they’re normal Tinder users on the app, and within the app, it’s done very well."

And though Albert and Alberta have pretty realistic profiles stating that "Tinder is just like the chomp, always right over left," their profiles are actually ads, Mereby said.

But not all students knew that.

"It was hilarious because her bio and her pictures were really funny, as if she was actually trying to hook up with somebody," said Aaron Barrera, a music composition and civil engineering sophomore.

According to Tinder advertisement metrics, it’s had successful engagement rates, Mereby said, even though the hashtags haven’t had as much luck on social media.

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As for the contest, it’s just a matter of getting the word out after the email, she said.

"I thought it was just to start a cool trend around the school or something until I saw an email today that it was a contest sponsored by the UAA," Barrera said.

According to the email, the promotion will close Sept. 3 and each winner will receive a pair of sideline passes. In addition, they will get a $25 gift card to the Gator Sportshop.

"I’d love to meet Albert and Alberta!" Barany said. "I’m a huge football fan."

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