College students. They can burn through money. And when they’re also football fans who have to follow their teams to odd destinations, like the Bristol Motor Speedway, the desperation sets in. Humorous signs making light of their plights are nothing new, but this one had a novel twist, and has paid off big for the enterprising student.
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University of Tennessee fans were showing up in droves to Bristol Motor Speedway, which had been converted to host the game against the Virginia Tech Hoakies.
Sam Crowder showed up for ESPN’s College Game Day event waving his version of the “Hey mom–send money” sign, only his sign listed his Venmo account number.
Sam Crowder’s sign flashed across the GameDay broadcast and then went viral on social media. By the end of the broadcast, he’s had more than 200 payments sent to his account, and the incoming activity hasn’t stopped yet.
— Venmo (@venmo) September 10, 2016
After Venmo got wind of the incoming payments, they ponied up $50 and wrote to ESPN: “Cheers to Sam Crowder. He created the perfect sign to inspire his friends to contribute to his beer fund. To recognize this ingenuity, the Venmo team has ponied up $50 for the cause. Next round’s on us. Well played, sir. Well played.”
Venmo’s $50 donation will certainly help with the game-day experience. Reports from Bristol Motor Speedway note that a 16 ounce beer is selling for $7.
Crowder’s not publicized just how much money has been donated. We’re still waiting on word from Crowder’s mother about how much, if any, she may have donated to the cause.
As for the game, Tennessee fans had reason to celebrate. The Vols looked rough in the first half, but pulled it out.