Yes, it’s true. In the midst of the most exciting time of the year in college football, bitcoin is making its mark. What was previously called the Beef O’ Brady’s Bowl, will now be known as the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl for the next three years. BitPay, one of the largest bitcoin payment service providers will serve as the title sponsor of the NCAA Football game, which will take place at Tropicana Field, the home of the Tampa Bay Rays. BitPay has been very successful since its founding in 2009, and with over 33,000 merchants, the company is playing a pivotal role in the mainstream adoption of digital currency. On December 26, 2014, The Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl will bring the digital currency to a monumental stage, bringing with it new fans to the sport and new fans of Bitcoin.
ESPN Events, a subsidiary of ESPN, made the announcement on Wednesday and the reaction from the Bitcoin community was very positive. Some individuals took to Reddit and proclaimed their appreciation for BitPay Executive Chairman, Tony Gallippi for continuously working to bring Bitcoin the currency and technology to the mainstream. ESPN Events owns and operates a large number of collegiate sporting events around the world and amounts to over 200 hours of programming, including 11 college bowl games, two Labor Day weekend college football games, and eight college basketball events. The company reaches approximately 64 million viewers and over a half-million attendees each year, which could mean big things for future adoption of an emerging technology like Bitcoin.
The sponsorship brings enormous possibilities to the bitcoin community and by sponsoring the event, BitPay is hoping to further promote interest in digital currency throughout the world, while also stimulating the bitcoin community around the bowl game. Sporting events like the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl will create a fun and interactive way for existing and new users to get involved with bitcoin, most excitingly, in a collegiate sports setting. The attention that comes from the bowl game will most definitely be a giant leap ahead for the relatively young cryptocurrency.
It is likely that during the event, attendees will be able to learn about the basics of Bitcoin, purchase merchandise and perhaps put some digital currency in their Bitcoin wallets. The Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl is a great way to further spread bitcoin knowledge to many who are unfamiliar with digital currency’s advantages and possibilities.
The bowl game is in its first year of a new conference affiliation with the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and the American Athletic Conference. Attendees of the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl will be able to purchase tickets via Ticketmaster, in addition to being able to purchase tickets with Bitcoin. We have yet to see what ESPN and BitPay will roll out in terms of creating the interactive experience, but no doubt it will be big, and will likely solidify the role of Bitcoin in the future of sporting events and the payment space.