Storm Can't Stop Moms in Super Bowl-Twitter-Mercedes Race
Wilmette residents Jennifer Marshall and Meredith Sinclair compete for charity and a chance to win cars.
As blizzard 2011 delivers nearly 20 inches of snow to the area, Wilmette mom's Jennifer Marshall and Meredith Sinclair are trying their darndest to get to Dallas by Friday.
"It stinks that this Snowpocalyse is hiting us with all this snow," Marshall told Patch.
That's because Marshall and Sinclair are finalists in Mercedes-Benz USA's "Tweet Race to the Big Game," in which four, two-person teams race to the Superbowl in 2011 Mercedes-Benz cars. The catch is that their fuel is generated by social media site Twitter—the amount they fill up at the pump is determined by how many people re-tweet their team name, #MBteamGL.
As they travel to the big game, Marshall and Sinclair will compete in a series of challenges to gain more Twitter followers and to have their messages re-tweeted, which translate into points. Marshall said she believes the team will be given iPads and Droids, "so we can do whatever we want to promote tweeting at us."
"We’re in an unfortunate situation with the weather that’s for sure," Marshall, who's seven-year-old twins attend McKenzie Elementary, said. "No matter what route we take we’re going to be hit with snow or ice."
Originally the duo was supposed to drive to Minneapolis at 8 a.m. Wednesday and then Manhattan, Kansas ending in Dallas. Instead, they could be heading to Kansas City, Kansas from Chicago Thursday morning, according to Marshall. In addition to a changed route, the team will only be driving for two days instead of three.
"The terrible sense of direction that we both have will make it interesting to see how it plays out," Marshall said. "We’re praying for a navigation system in the car."
Meanwhile the Midwest moms are coached by pro-tennis superstar Serena Williams, who's charity for at-risk youth, The Serena Williams Foundation, will receive $20,000 if MBTeamGL wins. Additionally, Marshall and Sinclair will receive 2012 C-Class Coupes if victorious.
"Serena's tweeted out multple times about supporting our team so far," Marshall said.
On top of completing the challenges and working with Williams, Marshall said her team has strategized other ways to procure fuel.
"We’ve got some videos we’re going to release when we’re on the road and different little things that we want to do to keep us entertained and along the way," she added. On Tuesday Marshall's team released the video "Tweet Racers" to announce their theme song and generate some buzz.
They're also getting family in on the action, she added.
"My dad just joined Twitter, and he’s 63," she said. "That's the cool thing is that so many people that I’m friends with in real life and my family have joined Twitter that wouldn't have otherwise."
And while her kids don't quite understand the competition, Marshall said her husband, Jeff, has been a major support since day one.
"He (Jeff) heard about the race and tried to talk me into the contest," she said. "I thought there was no way I'd make it."
"Now, my husband is a little jealous that I’m going to the Superbowl and he's not."