Kickoff: Discover To Sponsor Orange Bowl
ESPN has reached a deal charging Discover handsomely to take over title sponsorship of the annual Orange Bowl game. Terms were not released.
Federal Express backed the game for 21 years and morphed to FedEx in the process before declining to stick with its sponsorship earlier this year.
The game played in Sun Life Stadium in South Florida will become the "Discover Orange Bowl" starting in January and continue through 2014 under the new deal. In 2013, the national championship game played in the stadium will also carry the credit-card marketer's tag. (The Discover card also has orange in its logo.)
Under its new deal to carry the BCS bowl games and national title clash, ESPN has the ability to sell the naming rights for the games. ESPN, which will begin broadcasting all BCS games in 2011, has been working with the Orange Bowl on securing the title sponsorship.
The deal more broadly involves the credit card with various Discover promotions during ESPN's college football regular season.
Discover is also involved in sponsoring Notre Dame games on NBC. Per CNBC, Discover was one of the biggest sponsors of the WNBA, but bowed out last year after its three-year agreement was completed. It also had a three-year deal to be official credit card of the Arena Football League, which ended in August 2009.