Looks like the name ‘Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl’ had a short shelf life as the main sponsor BitPay has decided to discontinue its partnership. The company was behind the sponsorship of the 2014 college football game at Tropicana Field; however, now that it will not sponsor the 2015 event, it won’t be called ‘Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl’ this time.
The new regarding the withdrawal of sponsorship came first from ESPN as it informed that the decision to rebrand the event to the St. Petersburg Bowl was a mutual one between both BitPay and ESPN. The change was visible on the St. Petersburg Bowl website as soon as the decision was made as it no longer gracing the bowl’s logo.
Similarly, the @BitCoinBowl Twitter handle is also gone if anyone searches for it on Twitter while @StPeteBowl exists. Looks like it was an amiable settlement between the two organizations which started in the last year; however, Bitcoin is the second new-in-2014 bowl sponsor to not return for 2015.
Earlier, Duck Commander also decided not to sponsor of the Independence Bowl. Here, however, the game was not played with a sponsorship contract and the name of the company was used as an attempt to leverage other companies into sponsorship agreements with the bowl.
The Short Lived Partnership between BitPay and ESPN
Though BitPay had a three-year sponsorship deal, which would have continued through 2016, as the sponsorship decision was reached mutually between BitPay, an Atlanta-based firm that processes Bitcoin payments, and ESPN, there won’t be any commercial or legal conflicts. The outcome of such eventualities are being speculated and analyzed by observers.
Nonetheless, the bowl game has been played every year at the Trop since 2008 and has gone by various names, including the Beef “O” Brady Bowl and the MagicJack Bowl. Earlier the last year on June 18, 2014, it was announced that Bitcoin payment service provider BitPay would become the new sponsor of the game under a two-year deal.
Under that partnership it was agreed upon that digital currency will be accepted for ticket and concession sales at the game as part of the sponsorship, and the sponsorship itself was also paid for using Bitcoin. However, now that the BitPay won’t be the sponsor, will the event organizers accept Bitcoin for tickets has yet to be seen.
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