June 20, 2014
By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
Buffalo Wild Wings is ending its title sponsorship of the Tempe, Arizona, December bowl game after just two years. The restaurant was paying an estimated $3 million annually for the entitlement. With Tostitos also recently ending its bowl deal, the Fiesta Bowl Committee now must find sponsors for its two biggest games.
While the Tempe game lost a naming partner, another bowl gained one. BitPay announced a three-year sponsorship deal that designates the Tampa Bay area’s annual bowl game as the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl. Tickets and related merchandise will be available for purchase with bitcoin through BitPay’s processing services. Sponsoring a college football game unquestionably is the highest-profile marketing initiative undertaken by a bitcoin-related business. While the sponsorship deal was mocked on social media, the announcement alone generated significant media attention. Allowing fans to pay with bitcoins is critical for this deal to be considered a success.