ESPN and Bitpay’s ‘Bitcoin Bowl’ brings Bitcoin into 100 Million Households

June 21, 2014 14:28 UTC

The ‘Bitcoin Bowl’ agreement entered between BitPay and ESPN is probably the most important step ever for public acceptance of Bitcoin. Jeff Stone,writing in The International Business Times, reminds us that the biggest battle that Bitcoin faces is that of public acceptance.  The ‘Bitcoin Bowl’ agreement has the potential to: “To win over a public still skeptical of digital currencies and to get some good headlines in a year marked by bad press for its falling price and bankruptcy scandals, Bitcoin promoters are turning to America’s favorite pastime – football.”


The agreement between BitPay and ESPN is one of the boldest marketing strategies manifested by a Bitcoin company to date. Later, this year, two college teams will take the gridiron in St. Petersburg, Florida, to face off in what is being referred to as the inaugural ‘Bitcoin Bowl.’  The agreement between BitPay and ESPN announced on Wednesday, has the potential to get people talking about Bitcoin on a national stage. The NCAA-sanctioned game will take place at Tropicana Field, the full time home of the Tampa Bay Rays Major League Baseball team, on Dec. 26. This game had formerly been sponsored by the O’Brady’s chain of restaurants and the USB manufacturer magicJack.

Tony Gallippi, the Executive Chairman of BitPay, speaking to the Wall Street Journal, stated that he believes that BitPay has the potential to benefit from the Bitcoin Bowl much, much more than either O’Brady’s or magicJack have in the past. BitPay allows an estimated 30,000 businesses accept Bitcoin as payment and is now directly responsible for over 100 million households worth of exposure for the Bitcoin brand.

ESPN is latest to work with Bitcoin

Not only has Bitcoin now gained access to ESPN’s network, estimated to be approximately 100 million households, but BitPay has also convinced the Bitcoin Bowl organizers to make game tickets available for purchase in Bitcoin.  To top it all off, Jan Jahosky, a BitPay spokesman, has said, that the winning team’s university can elect, should they so choose, to be paid the $500,000 winner’s prize in bitcoins. The four year Bitcoin Bowl deal is the first contract between Bitcoin and a major TV network.  It follows on from a string of positive announcements from Dish Network,, Expedia, Virgin Galactic and Sacramento Kings. Politicians have also selflessly declared that they are prepared to accept campaign donations. The Winklevoss twins have announced that they expect Bitcoin to become bigger than Facebook and for the first time a certain level of stability has been achieved. Not bad, when you consider how 2014 began. In February, the Mt Gox news broke and the name of Bitcoin became widely confused with the word Pariah. From January to April the price was in a state of constant decline and some of our, sometimes self-proclaimed, top economic minds predicted that the cryptocoin world was in its death throes (for the umpteenth time). The pump and dump schemes, scams, of last winter and spring seem to have at least declined. Now, events such as this Bitcoin Bowl can hog media headlines. The Bitcoin Bowl is a tremendous opportunity for explaining Bitcoin to the wider public.

Featured image by Shutterstock.

Last modified: June 21, 2014 14:29 UTC

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@P.J. Delaney@delboyir

Masters in Public Administration, Bachelors in Mgt., I live in Ireland, I have a bit of a background in Economics and lots of opinions on everything else.