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Nashville Ousts Charlotte To Reclaim Title Of “America’s Manliest City”



Third Annual COMBOS® “America’s Manliest Cities” Rankings Measures Manly City Data Plus Input from Sgt. Slaughter, Lou Ferrigno and a Full Board of Manliness

HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. – Nashville, Tenn. residents, flex those muscles! Mars Chocolate North America announced today the release of the third annual COMBOS® “America’s Manliest Cities” study. For the second time in three years, Nashville, Tenn. owns the top spot, after briefly surrendering its position atop the mountain of manliness to Charlotte, N.C., in 2010. COMBOS® – the hearty, pretzel and cracker snack made with real cheese – partnered with Bert Sperling, the research expert behind the popular “Best Places to Live” studies to develop the third iteration of the annual study.

The COMBOS® “America’s Manliest Cities” study takes 50 major metropolitan areas and ranks them from manliest to least manly. The study compiles manly metrics of each city like the number of home improvement stores, steak houses, manly occupations and motorcycles per capita. But just like a high concentration of construction workers can boost a city’s manly measure, an excess of cupcake shops and fancy furniture stores can hurt a city’s rank. This year Los Angeles ranked dead last, deposing Portland, Ore. who owned the nefarious title of “Least Manly City” in 2010.

“The ‘America’s Manliest Cities’ study has been a tremendous success for the COMBOS® brand,” said Craig Hall, general manager, Mars Chocolate North America. “We’re excited to partner with some big personalities this year for the Board of Manliness. This group will help us connect even more with consumers and provide some really cool content for our social communities.”

Board of Manliness

It’s hard to argue that your city’s got moxie when Sergeant Slaughter and an internationally competitive beard grower think your city lacks manliness. For the first time, COMBOS® incorporated personal rankings of 10 individuals into the criteria for the annual “America’s Manliest Cities” study. This Board of Manliness ranked the 50 cities in the study and research expert Bert Sperling incorporated their composite ranking of the cities into the final results. The Board of Manliness includes:

Lou Ferrigno – American actor and bicep enthusiast
Rollie Fingers – Hall of Fame baseball pitcher, also famous for his handlebar mustache
Judy Gold – Stand-up comedian and actress
Jack Passion – Two-time World Beard champion
Sergeant Slaughter – Retired WWE wrestler and real life action figure
Mike Sullivan – Professional lumberjack with 44 world lumberjacking titles

In addition to the public figures listed above, the Board of Manliness includes four everyday Americans – a retired Navy Seal, a school teacher, a police officer and a mother of four boys.

The Manly Methodology*

The rankings were determined using 50 of the largest metropolitan areas as defined by the United States Census Bureau, which includes a central city and the surrounding county (or counties). Each metro area received a manliness rating between 0 and 100 based on how well it performed in each of the study’s manly categories. All data was adjusted by the current population of the cities to arrive at “per capita” figures, providing an accurate comparison between cities of varying sizes.

2011 “America’s Manliest Cities” Rankings
1. Nashville, TN (▲ 3 spots)
2. Charlotte, NC (▼ 1 spot)
3. Oklahoma City, OK (▲ 22 spots)
4. Memphis, TN (▲ 24 spots)
5. Columbia, SC (▲ 8 spots)
6. Cleveland, OH (▲ 9 spots)
7. Birmingham, AL (▲ 11 spots)
8. Milwaukee, WI (▼ 2 spots)
9. Houston, TX (▲ 15 spots)
10. St. Louis, MO (▲ 2 spots)
11. Indianapolis, IN (▼ 3spots)
12. Toledo, OH (▲ 14 spots)
13. Louisville, KY (▲ 16 spots)
14. Cincinnati, OH (▲ 6 spots)
15. Kansas City, MO (▼ 12 spots)
16. Pittsburgh, PA (▲ 21 spots)
17. New Orleans, LA (▲ 5 spots)
18. Columbus, OH (▼ 16 spots)
19. Salt Lake City, UT (▼ 2 spots)
20. Philadelphia, PA (▼ 10 spots)
21. Dallas, TX (▲ 18 spots)
22. Richmond, VA(▼1 spot)
23. Atlanta, GA (▲ 9 spots)
24. Chicago, IL (▼ 17 spots)
25. Detroit, MI (▼ 6 spots)
26. Dayton, OH (▲ 8 spots)
27. Providence, RI (▲6 spots)
28. Baltimore, MD (▼ 23 spots)
29. Grand Rapids, MI (▲ 9 spots)
30. Orlando, FL (▼ 14 spots)
31. Denver, CO (▼ 20 spots)
32. Phoenix, AZ (▼9 spots)
33. Jacksonville, FL (▲ 3 spots)
34. Buffalo, NY (▲ 12 spots)
35. New York, NY (No change)
36. Minneapolis, MN (▼ 9 spots)
37. Portland, OR (▲ 13 spots)
38. Las Vegas, NV (▲ 3 spots)
39. Tampa, FL (▲ 5 spots)
40. Harrisburg, PA (▼ 26 spots)
41. Seattle, WA (▼ 11 spots)
42. Washington, DC (▼ 33 spot)
43. Sacramento, CA (▲ 2 spots)
44. Miami Beach, FL (▲ 5 spots)
45. Boston, MA (▼ 14 spots)
46. Rochester, NY (▼ 6 spots)
47. Oakland, CA (No change)
48. San Francisco, CA (▼ 5 spots)
49. San Diego, CA (▼ 7 spots)
50. Los Angeles, CA(▼ 2 spots)

Manly Study Highlights

Nashville can thank its love of rodeo events, pickup trucks and home improvement for its #1 ranking as the Music City dominated the “manly lifestyle” category.
Although Minneapolis only ranked 36th, Sergeant Slaughter listed the snowy city as his #1 choice for the manliest city citing, “Do you know how hard it is to chop a hole big enough for your boat to go ice fishing?” Look for ice fishing as a potential new category in 2012.
Don’t tell your friends in Boston, but despite landing in the bottom half of the rankings, New York City ranked #1 in the “sports” category.
Cupcake shops run rampant in San Francisco! The City by the Bay has the most cupcake shops per capita of any city in the study and lost points in the “manly kryptonite” category.
When discussing the manly mess that is Los Angeles, standup comedian Judy Gold said, “It’s very manly if you like tanning beds, botox and low cal mojitos.”

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About Mars Chocolate North America:
Mars Chocolate North America is the North American chocolate operations of Mars, Incorporated. In 1911, Frank C. Mars made the first Mars candies in his Tacoma, Washington kitchen and established Mars’ first roots as a confectionery company. In the 1920s, Forrest E. Mars, Sr. joined his father in business and together they launched the MILKY WAY® bar. In 1932, Forrest, Sr. moved to the United Kingdom with a dream of building a business based on the philosophy of a “mutuality of benefits” for all stakeholders – this vision serves as the foundation of the Mars, Incorporated we are today. Based in McLean, Virginia, Mars has net sales of more than $30 billion and six business segments including Petcare, Chocolate, Wrigley, Food, Drinks and Symbioscience. More than 65,000 Associates worldwide are putting our Mars Principles in action every day to make a difference for people and the planet through our performance.


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