Ryan Schott is a huge fan of Wawa. Granted, that’s many of us in this region. But not like this guy. He’s so into the convenience store brand that he launched a $10,000 challenge to help Wawa earn more followers than its arch nemesis Sheetz.
In exchange for your social media devotion to Eastern Pennsylvania’s favorite quick-service chain, Schott is putting $10k on the line. If Wawa overtakes Sheetz in online popularity by Dec. 6, he says he’ll donate the bucks to Philabundance.
“I know that we can all come together for the feel good goal of having Wawa have more Twitter followers than Sheetz,” Schott pleads in a quick promo video.
According to state records, the Bucks County businessman owns two area companies: Screenwave Media, an entity that works to build brand recognition for YouTubers, and event coordinator Too Many Games.
That’s where his penchant for nonprofit fundraising began, Schott told Billy Penn. Two years ago, he created a charity gamers event, the next edition of which will be hosted at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, Pa., this June.
Schott said he was inspired to use social media to raise additional dollars for the anti-hunger organization after taking a trip to Hershey, Pa.
“[W]e stopped at a Sheetz, and I made a tweet about how I crossed ‘the line,’” Schott said. “Sheetz responded, and I was shocked to find out they had more Twitter followers than Wawa.”
Right then and there, he knew the challenge was ON. Schott said he hopes to “crown Wawa the winner” when the competition ends. While his Too Many Games event will also raise funds for Philabundance, Schott said if Wawa wins this challenge, he’ll use his own money to donate the additional funds.
It’s clearly noted on the #followwawa website that this challenge isn’t officially associated with or endorsed by any of the participants — not Wawa, Sheetz or Philabundance. As of this writing, per the site, Sheetz has a more than 150k lead, with 517,874 followers to Wawa’s 351,448. But the count is moving fast.
This is not the first time someone has pointed out the Twitter disparity between Wawa and Sheetz. In 2018, a Philly software developer analyzed which store took the most heat and which garnered the most praise on social media. Believe it or not, Sheetz eked out a win, though if you control for 15 miles around Philadelphia, Wawa had more flattering Twitter reviews.
The debate about whether Wawa is superior to Sheetz has been raging for literally decades.
The gas station-turned-food destinations are very similar, with Sheetz dominating Western Pennsylvania and Wawa claiming the East. A New York Times piece broke down the local matchup for a national audience, and the dueling duo have even inspired a forthcoming documentary called Sheetz vs. Wawa.
“Wawa makes our area feel like home,” Schott said in an email about his challenge. “I’ve had the privilege of seeing our area come together many times before. When we reach goals together it’s an amazing feeling.”
Philly folks, you know what to do.