Marc Kenigsberg - December 24, 2014
The latest sponsor for a NCAA Bowl game is Bitcoin! This year cryptocurrency meets college football in Tampa.
For those of you who follow the incredible annual event of NCAA Football bowl season, you’re already aware of some of the ridiculous sponsors that have presented games in the past. Even this year’s slate features some fun bowl game titles such as the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl to feature Missouri vs. Minnesota in Orlando, FL, or the TaxSlayer Bowl between Iowa and Tennessee nearby in Jacksonville, FL.
However, this season there’s a new sponsor in town, and while it may sound futuristic or go over the heads of some casual football fans, it’s certainly making a splash in the tech world.
The St. Petersburg Bowl that will see NC State square off against UCF will be presented by (drum roll please…) Bitcoin. That’s right, it’s the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl 2014.
The first question that comes to mind is simply, how? How is the biggest cryptocurrency in the world sponsoring a college football game? The answer to that is rather simple – the official sponsor is BitPay, one of the leading Bitcoin wallets that currently exist. But let’s take that question one step farther.
How did this bowl game go from being sponsored by “Beef ‘O Brady’s Pubs” to being sponsored by Bitcoin, and having the currency become a method of payment for tickets to the game?
As evidenced by the fact that the dozens of bowl games all have company and product names attached to them (no matter how ridiculous they may sound), the NCAA is pretty serious about including any company that will throw enough money at the organization in order to promote itself.
Buffalo Wild Wings, for example, has ramped up its football-related advertisements recently and has become a staple of the bowl series. How about the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl? Not too exciting, but they’re looking to get their name on a bowl game so the NCAA isn’t going to stop them. The NCAA offers companies the opportunities to showcase themselves on a huge national stage and BitPay jumped at the chance to promote Bitcoin.
Although the company is certainly looking to earn a good amount from this deal, BitPay seems to be also attempting to promote Bitcoin as a currency. Just think about how novel the idea really is. Imagine the Japanese Yen Bowl between Hawaii and Stanford. Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? Bitcoin, on the other hand, is a “cool” currency, not everyone truly understands it and it’s widely considered the future of currency as we know it. Also, the Bitcoin Bowl just sounds cool.
It’s very telling that the game was not titled the BitPay St. Petersburg Bowl, but rather the Bitcoin Bowl, and in that lies the beauty of the Bitcoin community. BitPay is spending all this cash (or maybe Bitcoins…) to purchase the right to have a nationally televised event called the Bitcoin Bowl.
This deal is likely to do wonders for the currency in addition to the cool points that BitPay will be racking up with college students and athletes who are following this bowl game. BitPay will reap the benefits financially, of course, but it took a step back to promote Bitcoins in general, which is a win-win for the Bitcoin community.
Who knows what this will lead to in the future? Imagine a 2015 bowl game between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Butler Bulldogs sponsored by Dogecoin. I can see it now, the BullDogecoin Bowl. It’s almost too incredible to be possible.
Kudos to BitPay for their efforts in promoting Bitcoin, and the NCAA as well for broadening its horizons to offer the deal in addition to accepting the currency as a payment method. The fact is, that even before the two teams step onto the field the Bitcoin Bowl is going to make a splash around the tech and cryptocurrency communities and is a tremendous leap forward for Bitcoins and for the market as a whole.