ESPN Events’ Texas Bowl has a new title sponsor.
Mercari has signed on as the game’s title sponsor. The announcement was made Tuesday by Lone Star Sports & Entertainment and ESPN. The Texas Bowl features a matchup of teams from Big 12 and Southeastern Conference (SEC).
According to information about the company on its official website, Mercari, Inc. is a Japanese e-commerce company. Its app allows people to buy and sell their products through an online marketplace.
Mercari USA CEO John Lagerling commented on the company’s addition to the Texas Bowl in a prepared statement.
“Mercari is thrilled to serve as the title sponsor of the Mercari Texas Bowl in Houston, Texas” the statement reads. “This has been a challenging year for many Americans, and Mercari is committed to supporting the needs of everyone who loves and contributes to our marketplace. At its core, Mercari is about connecting people and we are looking forward to bringing football fans around the country together to enjoy the storied tradition of this iconic game.”
Texas Bowl Executive Director David Fletcher shared Lagerling’s enthusiasm for the new partnership between the Texas Bowl and Mercari, Inc.
“We are excited to welcome Mercari as the new title sponsor of the Texas Bowl,” said Fletcher. “The Mercari Texas Bowl has become one of the biggest college football events in the country through a strong partnership with the Big 12, SEC and many great supporters in the Houston community. We are thrilled to add a partner in Mercari, one of the most exciting new brands and e-commerce platforms in the U.S., to further elevate the event and the experience.
Founded in 2003, the Texas Bowl has generated approximately $30 million for the Houston area economy each year, according to information about Mercari’s addition as the bowl game’s title sponsor.
Texas A&M defeated Oklahoma State 24-21 in the 2019 Texas Bowl. The game was one of the top five most-attended bowl games for the fourth consecutive year and one of 2019’s most-watched bowl games.
This year’s Texas Bowl is scheduled to take place at 8 p.m. ET on Dec. 31 on ESPN from NRG stadium.
Tuesday’s announcement is the second this month of a bowl game signing a new title sponsor. Cricket Wireless was announced as the title sponsor for the 2021 MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kickoff.
Tiffany Baehman, Cricket Wireless Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, was quoted in a prepared statement as expressing her pleasure at expanding the company’s partnership with ESPN and ESPN Events.
“At Cricket, we’re all about creating a meaningful connection with our customers and within the communities where we operate,” the statement reads. “Our extended relationship with ESPN allows us to continue to introduce our brand to HBCU students, alumni and fans. It also means that we can help amplify the rich culture and legacy of HBCUs, and the positive impact they have within the Black community.”
John Grant, MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kickoff and Celebration Bowl Executive Director, shared Beahman’s pleasure about the announcements.
“We are delighted to have Cricket Wireless as the title sponsor of both our football kickoff and bowl games,” said Grant. “These events provide valuable diversity to the sports offerings in the city of Atlanta. This relationship reflects our mutual passion for and appreciation of Historically Black Colleges and Universities and the valuable contributions they make to our nation. We look forward to working together and building world-class events in a world-class city.”
Played annually in September between teams from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), the game is an early-season game between two HBCU teams. The 2021 MEAC/SWAC Challenge is scheduled to take place Sept. 5, 2021 at Georgia State Stadium in Atlanta, GA.
Cricket, which has served as the title sponsor for the Celebration Bowl since 2018, announced in October that it has renewed with ESPN and ESPN Events as the bowl game’s title sponsor through 2023.
This year’s Celebration Bowl and MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kickoff were cancelled due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Both are currently expected to return in 2021.
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