Texas Bowl Gets New Sponsor

Courtesy: ESPN/ESPN Events

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.

More information on the ESPN networks’ college football coverage is available online along with all of the latest college football news at:




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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.