Dogecoin grabbed a lot of attention for the cryptocurrency space by sponsoring a NASCAR driver, now Bitpay is putting up some major bucks to get some mainstream media attention on the far more popular Bitcoin, by buying the naming rights to an NCAA college football bowl game.
"We’re extremely excited to welcome BitPay to college football and our bowl home in St. Petersburg," said Brett Dulaney, Executive Director of the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl. "We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial arrangement."
The St. Petersburg Bowl is played every year in December (this year it will be held on December 26) at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. The participating teams will be the winners from the Atlantic Coast Conference and Atlantic Athletic Conference.
it will be called “The Bitpay St. Petersburg Bowl.” The terms of the deal were not disclosed but it is important to note that Bitpay could have named the bowl game “The Bitpay St. Petersburg Bowl” rather than “The Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl.” Apparently, Bitpay sees more value in elevating Bitcoin the currency than Bitpay the company. It is often said that a rising tide floats all boats, and that seems to be the thinking here.
Tony Gallippi, Executive Chairman for BitPay stated:
"Our goal is to continue to move Bitcoin into the mainstream and sponsoring the St. Petersburg Bowl offers us that opportunity. College football fans and the Bitcoin community represent similar target demographics - tech-savvy men between the ages of 18 and 40."
For our international/non sports fan audience: Bowl games are played every year in college football after the regular season, typically in lieu of a playoff system. Teams are placed in different bowl games depending on where they were ranked in their conference that year. While the bowl games do finish up the year and help solidify the final rankings, they do not determine the winner. 2014 is the first year the sport will be moving to a four team playoff, with three bowl games being designated the semi finals and the national championship game. The other bowls have little to no impact on who is named the nation's top team.
With College Football moving to a playoff system, it will be interesting to see whether the public will be drawn to the lesser bowl games. The St. Petersburg Bowl is typically a lower-level bowl featuring two mid-tier teams (last year featured East Carolina vs. Ohio). However, that game, as most St. Petersburg bowl games, aired during slow television hours, this year's is not only in the heart of Christmas vacation, but will also air on ESPN during prime time (8pm EST) giving the Bitpay sponsorship plenty of opportunity to catch the American football watching public's attention.
Tickets and merchandise at the stadium can also be purchased with Bitcoin. The stadium will be utilizing BitPay's merchant services. Tickets to the game start at USD $40 or about 0.065 BTC at current prices.