Discover Financial Services (DFS: NYSE), the Orange Bowl Committee and ESPN announced today that an agreement has been reached for Discover to be the title sponsor for the 2011-2014 Orange Bowl Games and the 2013 BCS National Championship Game. The Orange Bowl Game will be known as the "Discover Orange Bowl" and the 2013 BCS National Championship game to be hosted by the Orange Bowl in South Florida will be named the "2013 Discover BCS National Championship Game." Under the partnership, Discover will be the official card of the Orange Bowl and the Bowl Championship Series.
In conjunction with this new alliance, a new game mark has been developed that will be incorporated into all Discover Orange Bowl and BCS-related materials.
The four-year deal includes the multi-media integration of Discover as part of ESPN's season-long college football coverage and marketing.
"We are very excited to partner with the Orange Bowl and college football on ESPN," said Harit Talwar, President of U.S. Cards for Discover. "Our cardmembers are very passionate about college football. As title sponsor of the Orange Bowl, Discover will be rewarding their cardmembers all year long with exclusive benefits, including ticket offers and unique experiences at the Discover Orange Bowl. It's a great way to show how it pays to Discover."
"Discover's commitment to the Orange Bowl reinforces the game's national strength and appeal as one of the premier sporting events in the country," said Eric Poms, CEO of the Orange Bowl Committee. "We welcome Discover to South Florida and the home of championship college football and we look forward to a long and mutually beneficial partnership. Our shared passion will leave a lasting impact on our community, while further enriching the 77-year history of the Orange Bowl."
Added Ed Erhardt, President, ESPN Customer Marketing and Sales, "Discover is passionate about college football and committed to activating their Orange Bowl sponsorship in a meaningful way. Their season-long, multi-media engagement, culminating with the Discover Orange Bowl, will provide a platform from which they can create a truly impactful experience for fans and unique rewards for their cardmembers. We look forward to growing this relationship between ESPN, Discover and the Orange Bowl in the coming years."
Title sponsorship of the Orange Bowl and sponsorship of the BCS is further demonstration of Discover's commitment to college football. Discover also has college football partnerships with Notre Dame Football on NBC and the Big Ten Network.
The first Orange Bowl game was played in 1935 with the mission to bring tourism to South Florida through an annual football game and Festival. In its 77-year history, the Orange Bowl has hosted 19 National Champions, 17 Heisman Trophy winners and in 1965 became the first Bowl game to be played in prime time. The not-for-profit organization now serves as a foundation of the South Florida community by hosting championship sporting events, related premier entertainment and meaningful community-driven initiatives year-round to inspire youth, engage families and make South Florida a better place. The Orange Bowl Festival attracts thousands of visitors to the South Florida community, and brought nearly $200 million in economic impact during the 2008-09 season, when the Orange Bowl Committee hosted both the Orange Bowl and BCS National Championship.
The Discover Orange Bowl is one of five BCS Bowl games, which take place annually in four locations: South Florida, Pasadena, Calif., the Phoenix area and New Orleans. All five games will be televised on ESPN as part of a new agreement. Allstate has renewed as title sponsor of the 2011-2014 Allstate Sugar Bowls and the 2012 Allstate BCS National Championship Game.