Although pop culture outlets often associate cryptocurrency with computer geeks, Bitcoin and Dogecoin have each made inroads into the athletic community. This year, both the NBA’s Sacramento Kings and the MLS’s San Jose Earthquakes have announced plans to accept Bitcoin payments. For its part, Dogecoin has sponsored both the Jamaican Olympic bobsled team and NASCAR driver Josh Wise. Now, Bitcoin will make its way into a new sport–college football–via the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl
While most of the world is busy following football’s most prestigious event–the World Cup–an important announcement from Bitcoin and ESPN may shift a bit of the spotlight back to American-style football. ESPN Events and the Bitcoin payment processor BitPay have reached an agreement for BitPay to sponsor the St. Petersburg college football bowl game, now named the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl. While BitPay will provide the funding for the game, the game’s title will feature the generic Bitcoin branding to broaden cryptocurrency awareness.The terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but the partnership will run for three years through the 2016 season.
The Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl will take place on December 26 in St. Petersburg, Florida. The game pits a team from the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and the American Athletic Conference (AAC) against each other. Because regular season records determine which teams are placed in which bowl games, it is currently unclear which teams will square off in the Bitcoin Bowl.
Ticket prices start at $40. Unsurprisingly, BitPay negotiated the ability to buy tickets and merchandise with Bitcoin. Those who do not wish to pay with Bitcoin can utilize Ticketmaster (although Ticketmaster charges extra fees).
The Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl is BitPay’s first foray into athletic sponsorship, but they anticipate that it will bring attention to Bitcoin. In return, that attention should lead more businesses to accept Bitcoin payment using the BitPay service. As BitPay CEO Tony Gallipi stated in a press release to the Tampa Bay Business Journal:
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 a similar target demographic – tech-savvy men between the ages of 18 and 40.
BitPay is not the first payment service to appeal to the 18-40 demographic. Recently, Coinbase gave away $10 in Bitcoin to any new users signing up for an online wallet using an email address from one of the world’s top 500 universities. They followed up that promotion by partnering with Budweiser to distribute free Bitcoin prizes to concertgoers.
The St. Petersburg Bowl was created in 2008 and has previously been sponsored by magicJack and Beef O’Brady’s. The game is played on Tropicana Field, which also serves as the home stadium for Major League Baseball’s Tampa Bay Rays. Over the past few years, teams that have played in the game have included the University of Ohio, University of Central Florida, East Carolina University, and Rutgers University
Last modified (UTC): June 18, 2014 19:46