Will online currencies become the new bowl game sponsorship trend?
Wednesday, BitPay announced that the St. Petersburg Bowl would be known as the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl. The game will be December 26 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., and was formerly sponsored by Beef O'Brady's.
“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 of 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.”
It's a three-year sponsorship deal and in addition to traditional transactional channels, Bitcoin will be able to be used for merchandise and tickets.
Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer online currency system and transactions are posted to an online public ledger. Because it's a peer-to-peer system, it's like cash. There's no central authority overseeing the transaction, other than the record of it. That contributed to the disappearance of 850,000 Bitcoins from Mt. Gox, which was the biggest bitcoin-exchange site until it shut down in March of 2014 because of the issue.
Earlier this year, Dogecoin, another type of online currency, sponsored two Olympians as well as NASCAR driver Josh Wise. Because of the power of the Dogecoin loyalists (people on Reddit who are called "Shibes") Wise won the fan vote for the All-Star Race in May over Danica Patrick.
While you may think Bitcoin is a bubble and may not be around or relevant much past the expiration of its sponsorship contract, given previous bowl game sponsorships it doesn't look absurdly ridiculous. After all, this is a sport that once had the uDrove Humanitarian Bowl, the PapaJohns.com Bowl, the GalleryFurniture.com Bowl, the Vitalis Sun Bowl, the MicronPC.com Bowl, the HomePoint.com Music City Bowl, the EV1.net Houston Bowl and many others.
As long as sponsors are willing to pay – in real dollars of course – bowl games are willing to take them.
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