Make us your home page
Instagram

BitPay to sponsor Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl for next three years

The annual college football postseason game played in St. Petersburg will be called the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl for the next three years. ESPN Events announced Wednesday that BitPay, a bitcoin payment processor, will serve as the title sponsor through 2016. [St. Petersburg Bowl]

The annual college football postseason game played in St. Petersburg will be called the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl for the next three years. ESPN Events announced Wednesday that BitPay, a bitcoin payment processor, will serve as the title sponsor through 2016. [St. Petersburg Bowl]

ST. PETERSBURG — The ann­ual college football game played at Tropicana Field has a new name: Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl.

ESPN Events said Wednesday that BitPay, a bitcoin payment processor, will serve as title sponsor for the postseason game for the next three years, starting with this year's game on Dec. 26.

BitPay officials said fans will be able to buy tickets as well as hot dogs, beer and T-shirts at the stadium using the virtual currency, a first for a college football event. Digital wallet companies also will be on hand to educate and set up users with the currency.

"We plan to make this a full bitcoin ecosystem,'' said Stephanie Wargo, vice president of marketing for BitPay. ''The goal is to take bitcoin to the next level of adoption.''

The sponsorship reflects one of the most prominent marketing efforts yet for a bitcoin-related business and is intended to promote national interest in the currency. Terms of the deal were not announced.

Based in Atlanta, BitPay approached ESPN about the title sponsorship after a fan held up a sign asking his mom to send bitcoins during the broadcast of ESPN's College GameDay at Auburn University last year. Bitcoin fans, using a scannable QR code on the sign, found his bitcoin address and sent him about $23,000 worth of the currency.

"College football fans and the bitcoin community represent a similar target demographic: highly educated men between the ages of 17 and 54," Wargo said.

The game, which will air on ESPN, is in its first year of its new affiliation with the Atlantic Coast Conference (which includes Florida State and Miami) and American Athletic Conference (USF and Central Florida). Tickets go on sale later this summer.

The game's previous title sponsor was Beef O'Brady's, a restaurant chain that held the naming rights since 2009. Its contract expired after last year's game.

Bowl officials expect BitPay's involvement will generate interest in the game beyond sports.

"We're extremely excited to welcome BitPay," said Brett Dulaney, executive director of the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl. "It's something that's new and different and probably not a lot of people know about it.''

Founded in 2011, BitPay works with 38,000 merchants worldwide who use bitcoins, a deregulated currency exchanged without the transaction fee charged by credit card processors. People can buy them through a private exchange or create them by completing a mathematical algorithm — a process known as mining.

BitPay to sponsor Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl for next three years 06/18/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 18, 2014 7:33pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rep. Larry Ahern gets roughed up by Clearwater City Council

    State Roundup

    It seemed innocuous enough: an "end of session report" from state Rep. Larry Ahern, R-Seminole, to the Clearwater City Council.

    Then Ahern got taken to the woodshed.

    Rep. Larry Ahern is vying for a seat on the Pinellas commission.
  2. There's a bar in Tampa where you can roller skate and eat sushi

    Food & Dining

    Roller skating, it's not just for kids birthday parties and the 1970s anymore.

    The exterior of Pattinis features this mural by Art Aliens! [Pattinis South Tampa via Facebook]
  3. Lockdown: Florida's 97,000 prison inmates confined through weekend

    State Roundup

    All of Florida's 97,000 state prison inmates are on lockdown — and will remain confined to their dorms at least through the weekend — in response to unspecified threats about possible uprisings, officials from the Florida Department of Corrections confirmed Thursday.

    Blackwater River Correctional Facility. [Florida Department of Corrections]
  4. Carnival announces five more cruises from Tampa to Cuba

    Tourism

    TAMPA — Carnival Cruise Line is adding five more cruises from Tampa to Cuba in 2018, Port Tampa Bay announced Thursday.

      Carnival Cruise Line announced additional cruises to  Cuba. Pictured is its Paradise cruise ship departing on its inaugural voyage to Cuba from Tampa. | [MONICA HERNDON | Times]
  5. Engage Behavioral Health expands into Wesley Chapel

    Business

    On Aug. 5, Engage Behavioral Health celebrated the grand opening of a new clinic in Wesley Chapel.

    hillsevbiz081117: Jennifer Phelps is the CEO & Founder of Engage Behavioral Health. Photo courtesy of Engage Behavioral Health.