TAMPA — The Tampa Bay Bowl, formerly known as the Outback Bowl, has a new name: the ReliaQuest Bowl.
Bowl officials announced the four-year agreement with the local cybersecurity company Thursday afternoon during a ceremony at the downtown Marriott Water Street. The game will continue to be played at Raymond James Stadium on its traditional New Year’s Day spot. Its partnerships with ESPN and the SEC and Big Ten/ACC also remain unchanged.
ReliaQuest founder and CEO Brian Murphy said the deal came together over the last five or six weeks while his company was in the middle of the $160 million acquisition of an international tech company.
“The more we thought about it, it made complete sense…” Murphy said. “It’s going to raise awareness. It’s a big platform in college football.”
The platform has had several names over the years. It started as the Hall of Fame Bowl in 1986 and became the Outback Bowl a decade later. In March, Outback ended its sponsorship of the event, saying “it was time.”
Murphy founded ReliaQuest in 2007, and it has grown to more than 1,000 employees. Its headquarters remain in Tampa, giving the event another local sponsor. But the company also has operating centers in Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, London, Amsterdam, Ireland and India.
“We are thrilled to welcome ReliaQuest as the title sponsor of the Bowl,” bowl chairman Troy Atlas said in a statement. “ReliaQuest is a leader in cybersecurity and a key business leader in the Tampa Bay region. This is a 21st Century partnership with a fantastic 21st Century company.”
Murphy is also a Florida State alumnus and booster. Because the ACC is one of the conferences with a tie-in to the game, his Seminoles can be among the teams considered for future games.
“There’s a chance…” Murphy said. “I think Coach (Mike) Norvell’s going to do what it takes, and the players are dialed in.”
• • •