The ultimate Herd Perk prize has a winner

Freshman Billy Ferris won a new 2019 Ford EcoSport, the ultimate Herd Perk prize. ORACLE PHOTO/BRIAN HATTAB

A new 2019 Ford EcoSport SE was up for grabs as the 2019-20 Herd Perks grand prize, and it now has an owner. Billy Ferris will soon get to experience all the benefits of owning a sleek new ride after he was announced as the winner Thursday.

The freshman from Michigan is driving away with the top prize for attending the most USF Athletics events and games in 2019-20 and winning the final draw.

“It was very easy to check into games, and I thought the rewards were good incentives,” Ferris said on a Zoom call with USF coaches, Vice President of Athletics Michael Kelly and Terry Mullane, Vice President and General Manager of Parks Ford.

Over 9,800 USF students used the Herd Perks app to check into USF Athletics events across all sports. By checking in, students earned points that were tracked by the app. Those points then went toward rewards. 

Smaller prizes could be won throughout the year, but all eyes were on a new ride.

Only the top 25 attendees were eligible to win the car. The winner was decided by a random draw. Luck, as it turns out, was on Ferris’ side.

“It’s incredible, I’m honestly speechless,” Ferris said to The Oracle.

Ferris mentioned this is his first car.

Herd Perks has been around since 2015, but never with the interaction it saw this year. Prizes in years past were mostly limited to a pair of sunglasses or a hat, nothing as grandiose as a new car.

The Ford EcoSport was certainly the biggest prize, but it wasn’t the only notable one.

A $500 textbook scholarship, a vacation getaway for two from Hilton Hotels and a $500 dining plan from USF Dining were also on the line.

The magnitude of the grand prize, coupled with several other prizes, saw the number of users and interaction skyrocket.

Herd Perks saw an increase of almost 3,000 registrants since last year, and more than 5,000 check-ins occurred on the app since August. Over 21,000 check-ins have occurred since the app’s creation.

With prizes like new cars and vacation getaways on the line, a new precedent likely was set for the future of Herd Perks.

And while the odds of winning a new car might be long, for Ferris, all it took was supporting the Bulls and a little bit of luck.