Posted on Oct 26, 2011
Top 5 College Bowl Games Sponsored by Franchises
These days more and more college football bowl games have their names sponsored by companies for brand exposure and franchises have gotten into the act as much as anyone else. Here are the top five bowls sponsored by franchises:
1. Chick Fil-A Bowl – Formerly the Peach Bowl, the Chick Fil-A franchise had partial naming rights as early as 1998, but the bowl dropped the Peach completely from its name in 2006 after Chick Fil-A paid $22 million for five years of sole naming rights. The bowl is played at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia and matches up teams from the ACC and the SEC. Last year, Florida defeated South Carolina. Chick Fil-A, which is based in the Atlanta area, has 1,586 locations in 39 states, concentrated in the south, all of which are closed on Sundays.
2. Outback Bowl – The OutbackBowl has gone by that name since 1995, when Outback Steakhouse purchased the naming rights. Before that, it was the Hall of Fame Bowl. The game is played in Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Every year a Big Ten team matches up against a SEC team, with Florida defeating Penn State in 2011. The Outback Steakhouse franchise, in operation since 1988, has 1200 locations and is based in Tampa.
3. Little Caesars Pizza Bowl – The Little Caesars Pizza Bowl is held annually at Detroit’s Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions, and is the only bowl game in the Midwestern United States. Previously the Motor City Bowl, the bowl's name was changed in 2009 to Little Caesars after title sponsors Chrylser and General Motors reorganized under bankruptcy protection. The bowl normally pits a Big Ten team against a MAC team and but last year featured Florida International University defeating Toledo. The Little Caesars franchise is the fourth largest pizza chain in the United States and is headquartered in Detroit.
4. Beef O’Bradys Bowl – Beef O’Bradys, a family sports pub franchise, began sponsoring the bowl in 2009. The bowl, previously known as the St. Petersburg Bowl, has been played since just 2008 in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, and currently matches up teams from the Big East and Conference USA. The most recent Beef O’Bradys Bowl saw Louisville defeat Southern Mississippi. The Beef O’Bradys franchise currently has 215 locations in the United States, mostly in the Gulf Coast region.
5. Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas– 2011 was the first year as title sponsor for Meineke as the bowl had been known as the Texas Bowl since its inception in 2006, replacing the now defunct Houston Bowl. The bowl is played annually in Houston’s Reliant Stadium, home of the Texans and matches up the Big 12 and the Big Ten. Last year, Illinois defeated Baylor. The Meineke Car Care franchise opened its first location in 1972 and is based in Houston, Texas.
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