Popeyes, ESPN Events Ink Long-Term Deal For Bahamas Bowl Sponsorship

Courtesy:  ESPN/ESPN Events/Popeyes

Courtesy: ESPN/ESPN Events/Popeyes

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen announced this week that it will remain the title sponsor for the annual Bahamas Bowl.for the foreseeable future.

The company announced this week that it has signed a multi-year deal that will keep it as the title sponsor for the game, which is owned by ESPN Events, a subsidiary of ESPN. The precise term-length of the deal was not announced. Pete Derzis, Senior VP of ESPN Events explained the motivation for extending Popeyes’ sponsorship for the bowl game after the deal was finalized. “Popeyes provided terrific support for the inaugural Popeyes Bahamas Bowl last year,” he said. “This multiyear extension will allow us to build on the work they did last year and highlight this unique bowl experience.”

Popeyes CMO Hector A. Munoz added his thoughts on the deal, noting what it means for Popeyes and its reputation as a quickly growing company. “This news signifies the reach and power of the Popeyes brand,” he said. “We have established a new tradition with the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl that will allow us to connect with fans in a forum they love — college football. Big brands do big things and we cannot think of a better demonstration of Popeyes growth and success. We are pleased to make this announcement!”

The inaugural Popeyes Bahamas Bowl was played in the post-season of the 2014 NCAA College Football season. It featured a matchup of Western Kentucky (C-USA) and Central Michigan (MAC) and was the first-ever post-season college football bowl game to be played outside of the U.S. or Canada since 1937. Western Kentucky won the game by a single point–49 – 48–over the Chippewas in what has gone on to become one of the most talked about bowl games in college football history since then. During the week leading up to the game, Popeyes co-hosted a hospitality event for members of both teams and institutions. It featured a then-new product called Ghost Pepper Wings. Upwards of 5,000 fans were able to sample the wings on game day in conjunction with a national rollout to a national TV audience in the U.S. during the course of the game. The 2015 Popeyes Bahamas Bowl will be played on Thursday, December 24th, 2015 in Nassau’s Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium. It will once again feature a matchup of schools from C-USA and the MAC and will be televised nationally in the United States on ESPN.

More information on this game and all of ESPN’s college football coverage is available online now at:

Website: http://espn.go.com/ncf/index

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CFBonESPN

More information on Popeyes and its products is available online now at:

Website: http://www.popeyes.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PopeyesLouisianaKitchen

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Events To Debut New College Football Bowl Game This Season

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

College football teams across the country will have yet another bowl to vie for when the 2015 – 2016 season kicks off this fall.

ESPN Events announced today that it will debut the Celebration Bowl this season. The game, which will debut Saturday, December 19th, is meant to pay tribute to the legacy and values of America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The matchup will see the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Champion take on the champion of the Southwest Athletic Conference. Pete Derzis, Senior VP of ESPN Events discussed the announcement with the press saying, “We could not be more pleased to have the Celebration Bowl kicking off the college football bowl season on ABC.” He went on to add the expectations for the inaugural game saying, “Not only will the first annual Celebration Bowl deliver a first-class postseason experience to the teams, their fans and their alumni; the live telecast on ABC will bring the thrill and pageantry of the bowl to fans across the nation.”

Both conferences’ commissioner also shared their thoughts on the upcoming game. Dennis Thomas, Commissioner of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, was optimistic for the game’s debut and appreciative for ESPN’s continued dedication to both conferences. “We are excited about today’s announcement that the Celebration Bowl will be telecast on ABC,” he said. “We are eagerly looking forward to participating in this wonderful opportunity to showcase our student-athletes, coaches, institutions and our conference on this national stage. We are appreciative to ESPN for their continued partnership and commitment to this postseason experience.”

SWAC head Duer Sharp was just as positive in his remarks about the game saying, “The SWAC is excited about the announcement of the inaugural Celebration Bowl being televised on ABC. This stage will provide the nation with a front-row seat into the passion, pride and heritage of the SWAC and HBCU football. Our coaches, student-athletes and SWAC fans across the nation look forward to meeting in ATL on December 19.” He also spoke on behalf of the SWAC in noting the conference’s appreciation for ESPN’s support of both the SWAC and the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference saying “The SWAC appreciates ESPN and their family of networks for their continued support and for providing our fans and student athletes the opportunity to perform on this national platform.”

John Grant is CEO of the organization 100 Black Men of Atlanta, Inc. He expressed his thoughts on what the game means to the city of Atlanta since the game will be played in the Georgia Dome and what it means for America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities. “We are excited to collaborate with ESPN to launch the Celebration Bowl and continue our longstanding tradition of delivering an annual HBCU college football showdown to fans in Atlanta,” he said. “Having the game televised on ABC will showcase the best in HBCU football on a national stage.”

More information on the inaugural Celebration Bowl is available online now along with all of the latest news from ESPN Events online at:

Website: http://www.espnevents.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ESPNEvents

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Events Acquires Another College Football Bowl Game

Courtesy:  ESPN/ESPN Events

Courtesy: ESPN/ESPN Events

Officials with ESPN Events announced today that it has acquired the Popeye’s Bahamas Bowl. The bowl, which was previously owned by Bahamas Bowl, LLC, debuted last season. It is played at the Thomas A. Robinson Stadium in Nassau. It will be held on Christmas Eve this year and will feature one team from Conference USA taking on a select team from the Mid-American conference. Last year’s debut game featured Western Kentucky (C-USA) taking on Central Michigan (MAC). It was the first time that a college football bowl game had been held outside the United States or Canada since 1937. Western Kentucky won the game by a single point 49 – 48. Both teams spent time off the field with children at Nassau’s Ranfurly Homes For Children and at a youth football clinic held by the heads of the Bahamas Bowl, fulfilling the bowl’s mission statement vowing to give back to the people of the Bahamas.

ESPN Events Senior VP Pete Derzis spoke on behalf of the company, expressing the company’s gratitude for for the country’s support of the bowl game and the company’s determination to live up to the country’s expectations saying, “We are excited to be adding the Popeye’s Bahamas Bowl to our portfolio of events. “The inaugural game was a tremendous success, and we hope to build on that by bringing a one-of-a-kind bowl experience for our student-athletes, coaches and fans. The level of support from the entire country of the Bahamas makes this event truly unique — making this game a true destination event that fans across the country will want to attend and support.”

ESPN Events will hold a press conference on Wednesday, June 10th at a local Popeye’s Bahamas Bowl summit at which the company will officially announce ESPN Events as the bowl game’s new owner. The summit will be held at the Atlantis – Paradise Island.

More information on ESPN’s college football coverage is available online now at:

Website: http://espn.go.com/ncf/index

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CFBonESPN

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Events Announces Details Of Very Busy College Football Bowl Game Schedule

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The 2014 College football regular season is over and now it’s on to the “post season. With the “post season” comes the annual announcement of which teams will go bowling. And that announcement was made last night with ESPN Events announcing its schedule for this year’s bowl games in accordance.

ESPN Events owns and operates eleven of the bowl games that make up the annual college football bowl schedule. The first of those eleven games is the Gildan New Mexico Bowl. The Gildan New Mexico Bowl will be held Saturday, December 20th. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:20pm ET/12:20 pm MT. Utah State (9 – 4 overall, 6 – 2 conference) will represent the Mountain West in the game. The Aggies will take on the Utep Miners from Conference USA. UTEP is 7 – 5 overall and 5 – 3 in conference play. The Gildan New Mexico Bowl will be played live at University Stadium in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It will be broadcast live on ESPN and ESPN Radio.

The second game on ESPN Events’ schedule of bowl games is the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl. The Utah Utes (8 – 4 overall, 5 – 4 conference) will represent the Pac -12 in the game while The Colorado State Rams (10 – 2 overall, 6 – 2 conference) will play for the Mountain West. The Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl is also set for Saturday, December 20th. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30pm ET. The game will be played at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, NV and will be broadcast live on ABC.

Third up on ESPN Events’ bowl schedule is the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. 2014 marks the 18th year that the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl will be held as part of college football’s “post season.” It is the nation’s longest-running cold weather bowl game. As with the Gildan New Mexico Bowl and the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl, that game is also scheduled for Saturday, December 20th. The Broncos of Western Michigan (Mid-American, 8 – 4 overall, 6 – 2 conference) will take on the Mountain West’s Air Force Academy Falcons (9 – 3 overall, 5 – 3 conference) in this game. The game will come live from Boise State University’s Bronco Stadium. It will broadcast live on ESPN and ESPN Radio.

The fourth game on the schedule for ESPN Events is one of two newly-created bowl games. That game, the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl, will be a prime-time game on Saturday, December 20th. Kickoff is scheduled for 9:15pm ET. The Jaguars of South Alabama (6 – 6 overall, 5 – 3 conference) will represent the Sun Belt as they take on the MAC representative Bowling Green Falcons (7 – 6 overall, 5 – 3 conference). The game will be played at the Cranton Bowl in Montgomery, Alabama.

Game Five on ESPN Events’ bowl schedule is another first-time bowl game. The Boca Raton Bowl will see C-USA Champion Marshall (12 – 1 overall, 7 – 1 conference) facing the Huskies of Northern Illinois from the MAC (11 – 2 overall, 7 – 1 conference) on Tuesday, December 23rd at 6pm ET. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN and ESPN Radio from the FAU Stadium on the campus of Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida.

The sixth game on ESPN Events’ 2014 bowl schedule is the Hawai’i Bowl. 2014 marks the thirteenth anniversary of the annual bowl. In its thirteenth anniversary year, C-USA rep Rice (7 – 5 overall, 5 – 3 conference) will face Mountain West rep Fresno State (6 – 7 overall, 5 – 3 conference). 2014 marks the tenth year that the Hawai’i Bowl has been held on Christmas. The game will be played at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, HI. Kickoff is scheduled for 8pm ET. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN and ESPN Radio.

Game Seven on ESPN Events’ 2014 bowl schedule comes in the form of the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl. The Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl will take place the day after Christmas. The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (8 – 5 overall, 7 – 1 conference) from the C-USA will take on Big Ten rep the Illinois Fighting Illini (6 – 6 overall, 3 – 5 conference). Kickoff is scheduled for 1pm ET. The game will be played at Texas’ historic Cotton Bowl on the grounds of Fair Park. The game will be televised live on ESPN.

Also on December 26th, the ACC’s NC State (7 – 5 overall, 3 – 5 conference) will face the UCF Knights (9 – 3 overall, 7 – 1 conference) from the AAC in the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl. Kickoff is schedule for 8pm ET. The game will come live from Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.

After Friday night’s game, ESPN’s bowl coverage will continue on Monday, December 29th with the Advocare V100 Texas Bowl live from NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. The Arkansas Razorbacks (6 – 6 overall, 2 – 6 conference) will represent the SEC against the Texas Longhorns (6 – 6 overall, 5 – 4 conference) in this game. ESPN and ESPN Radio will have coverage of the game right from its 9pm ET kickoff.

The tenth game on ESPN Events’ schedule is the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl on Friday, January 2nd, 2015. The University of Houston fell to AAC foe Cincinnati over the weekend in the teams’ season ender, giving the Bearcats a piece of this year’s AAC Championship. Houston will take on the Pittsburgh Panthers (6 – 6 overall, 4 – 4 conference) from the ACC. Kickoff is set for 12pm ET. The game will be played live at Amon G. Carter Stadium on the campus of TCU in For Worth, Texas. This year marks the twelfth year that the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl has been a part of the college football “post season.”

Last on the list of ESPN Events’ bowl games is the Birmingham Bowl. The Pirates of East Carolina University (8 – 4 overall, 5 – 3 conference) will play for the AAC while Florida (6 – 5 overall, 4 – 4 conference) will represent the SEC. Florida is only one of two schools from the SEC to play in ESPN Events’ college bowl schedule this year. The only other SEC team to play in the schedule is Arkansas in the Advocare V100 Texas Bowl. The game will be played live at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama on Saturday, January 3rd. Kickoff is set for 12pm ET. It will be carried live on ESPN and ESPN Radio.

The complete 2014 listing and details of this year’s bowl games is available online at:

Website: http://espn.go.com/college-football/bowls

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CFBonESPN

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Brad Paisley To Serve As Guest Picker On ESPN’s CGD Broadcast This Week

College GameDay Logo

Courtesy: ESPN

Country music superstar Brad Paisley is set to appear on ESPN’s College GameDay this weekend.

Paisley will be a guest picker on this Saturday’s broadcast of College GameDay presented by Home Depot when host Chris Fowler and the rest of the CGD crew rolls into Morgantown, West Virginia on the campus of West Virginia University. Chris Fowler will anchor Saturday’s live broadcast of the Emmy Award-winning show. He will be joined by analysts Lee Corso , Kirk Herbstreit, and Desmond Howard at the desk. The group will offer more picks and insight for this weekend’s slate of college football matchups. The show will broadcast live from the patio of the Mountainlair Student Union on the campus of WVU. Saturday’s broadcast marks only the second time that ESPN’s College GameDay presented by Home Depot has been broadcast live from WVU. The Mountaineers’ matchup against the Horned Frogs of TCU will be broadcast live on ABC at 3:30pm ET.

Brad Paisley Promo Pic

Photo Credit: Jim Shea

In regards to the announcement of Paisley’s appearance, ESPN coordinating producer Lee Fitting discussed the network’s excitement at having Paisley, who is himself from West Virginia, appear live ahead of WVU’s matchup later Saturday afternoon. Anytime we can get a star of Brad Paisley’s stature on the show it is a huge win,” said Fitting. “On top of that, Brad is a West Virginia native and huge Mountaineers fan. GameDay’s been on a great run this season with celebrity guest pickers and Saturday morning in Morgantown with Brad on our set should be very entertaining.” Paisley released his latest full-length studio album Moonshine in the Trunk on August 25th.

More information on this weekend’s edition of ESPN’s College GameDay is available online at:

Website: http://espn.go.com/college-football

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/collegegameday

Twitter: http://twitter.com/CollegeGameDay

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

SEC Network To Feature College Football Tripleheader Saturday

 

Courtesy:  ESPN/SEC Network

Courtesy: ESPN/SEC Network

This weekend will be a big one for fans of SEC football.

This weekend, the SEC Network will carry a tripleheader of college football games featuring SEC Teams.  It all starts Saturday morning with SEC Nation live Saturday morning at 10am ET.  Saturday’s broadcast will come live from Victory Village in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  Joe Tessitore will anchor the broadcast.  He will be joined by Tim Tebow, Marcus Spears, Paul Finebaum, and reporter Kaylee Hartung for the pre-game broadcast.

The first game on tap for Saturday’s SEC Network tripleheader will see Louisiana-Monroe on the road against Kentucky at high noon.  Dave Neal will have the call from the booth.  He will be joined by Andrew Ware and Laura Rutledge for additional commentary.  That game will be followed by a matchup of Tennessee-Chattanooga at Tennessee at 4pm ET.  Tom Hart will anchor that game’s broadcast.  He will be joined by Matt Stinchcomb and Heather Mitts for more throughout the game.  And rounding out the day’s schedule, the Florida Gators host the LSU Tigers at 7:30pm ET.  Brent Musburger will be live in the booth for that game.  He will be joined by Jesse Palmer and Maria Taylor for additional commentary.

More information on Saturday’s schedule and all of the SEC network’s programming is available online at:

Website: http://getsecnetwork.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SECNetwork

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Orioles To Host Yankees On Sept. 14th Edition Of Sunday Night Baseball

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

Football season is officially underway.  College football and NFL stadiums alike are now rocking every week with rabid fans on both sides of the ball.  While football has taken center stage, audiences should be reminded that the 2014 MLB season isn’t over just yet.  With time ticking away before the playoffs start, ESPN has announced that the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees will face off live on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell on Sunday, September 14th.

The teams’ matchup on September 14th will be the last in a four-game series between the teams that weekend.  The series kicks off Friday, September 12th with a double-header between the AL East rivals. Whether or not audiences are Yankees fans, the scheduled game will be an important one as it is believed that it will be the last appearance by Yankees great Derek Jeter on Sunday Night Baseball.  It will also be the last for Jeter at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, which is itself celebrating its 25th season this year.

Dan Shulman will have the call for the game.  He will be joined live by analyst John Kruk and reporter Buster Olney for additional commentary.  Fans that won’t be close to a TV to catch the game on  September 24th can still catch it on their local ESPN Radio affiliate.  Jon Sciambi and Chris Singleton will have the call for audiences listening on the radio.  It will also be available online via WatchESPN and on TV and radio for Spanish-speaking audiences on ESPN Deportes and ESPN Deportes radio.  As with every Sunday Night Baseball broadcast on ESPN, the matchup between the Orioles and Yankees will be preceded by ESPN’s Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown presented by Chevrolet live at 7pm ET.

Tomorrow night, audiences can catch the third game in a three-game series between the Indians and Royals.  The Royals currently sit atop the AL Central Standings while the Indians are third in the division, 3.5 games back.  Game two is tonight at 7:10pm ET.  Next Sunday night, September 7th, ESPN will carry the third game in a three-game series between the Giants and Tigers.

More information on ESPN’s MLB coverage is available online at http://www.facebook.com/ESPNBaseballTonight.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.