Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre’s Spirits Brand to Sponsor Arizona Bowl

The Arizona Bowl has a new sponsor, and it’s notable in more ways than one.

The Tucson-based game is now the Snoop Dogg Arizona Bowl Presented by Gin & Juice By Dre and Snoop. The spirits brand founded by rap icons Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre signed a multiyear deal to sponsor the college bowl game, which will be played Dec. 28.

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“I’ve sent many players through my (Snoop Youth Football League) to colleges (and the NFL), so it’s only fitting that I bring the ‘juice’ back to college football,” Snoop Dogg said in a statement. “Dr. Dre and I are excited to bring our brand to the next level with this partnership, and we’re going to make the Arizona Bowl into a game-day experience like never before.”

“We’re thrilled about our groundbreaking partnership with Snoop and Gin & Juice By Dre and Snoop,” said the bowl’s executive director, Kym Adair. “This year, the Arizona Bowl is bringing sports, libations and entertainment into a singular bowl game, and we are changing the definition of what a brand partnership is in the NCAA.”

Though it’s billed as “the first alcohol partner as the presenting sponsor in a NCAA bowl game,” perhaps the bigger story is that two rap icons will have their names as part of the branding of the event, even if through their adult beverage. Snoop is the most famous sports fan in rap, as a regular sideline attraction at many NFL games and a planned contributor to NBC’s Summer Olympics coverage. There’s also his memorable time in the play-by-play booth of the Los Angeles Kings.

As for Dr. Dre’s sports connection, he may not be as much of a fixture among the players and coaches as Snoop, but athletes have prepared and trained while wearing his Beats by Dre headphones—from his company which Apple purchased outright in 2014—for nearly two decades.

The game itself, played between teams in the Mountain West Conference and the Mid-American Conference, is on its fourth presenting sponsor. NOVA Home Loans branded itself onto the first five editions of the Arizona Bowl starting in 2015. However, the mortgage lender chose not to renew its sponsorship in 2019, paving the way for real estate company Offerpad to take the rights in 2020.

Barstool Sports became the sponsor in 2021. However, citing the platform’s numerous controversies, including inflammatory statements from its founder Dave Portnoy, the Pima County Board of Supervisors elected to pull its $40,000 in funding and demanded that the organizers take the county’s name off the game’s website. While the 2021 game was canceled after a COVID-19 outbreak among Boise State players, Barstool continued its partnership for the last two editions.

For what it’s worth, this is the first booze partner of a bowl game in the modern era. Seven editions of the Bacardi Bowl were played sporadically in Havana, Cuba, between 1907 and 1946, with American college teams taking on Cuban schools or athletic clubs.

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