By Barry Janoff
June 18, 2014: Stating that its goal is to promote interest in digital currency on a national scale, BitPay has signed a multi-year deal to become title sponsor for college football's annual bowl game in St. Petersburg.
Formerly known as the Beef 'O'Brady's Bowl, the game this year becomes the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl.
The deal with signed with ESPN Events, a subsidiary of ESPN, which owns and operates this and numerous other CFB events.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
BitPay said it plans to make tickets and merchandise available for purchase with bitcoin in an effort to strengthen its acceptance.
"Our goal is to continue to move bitcoin into the mainstream and sponsoring the St. Petersburg Bowl offers us that opportunity," Tony Gallippi, executive chairman for BitPay, said in a statement. "College football fans and the bitcoin community represent a similar target demographic — tech-savvy men between the ages of 18 and 40."
Earlier this year, the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer started accepting bitcoin at its stadium box office, gift store and concession stands; and the Sacramento Kings became the first NBA team to accept bitcoin and opened a bitcoin-only online store.
BitPay said it works with more than 33,000 merchants.
"College football fans and the bitcoin community represent a similar target demographic — tech-savvy men between the ages of 18 and 40."
According to Brett Dulaney, executive director for the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl, "We’re extremely excited to welcome BitPay to college football and our bowl home in St. Petersburg. We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial arrangement."
The 2014 game is scheduled for Dec. 26 on ESPN, matching teams between the Atlantic Coast Conference and the American Athletic Conference.
Beef O'Brady held naming rights from 2009-2013, taking over a one-year deal by Magic Jack.
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