CoinDesk reported Wednesday that according to ESPN, the 2015 St. Petersburg Bowl will not be known as the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl.
An ESPN representative would not comment to CoinDesk as to whether the move signifies a sponsorship change for the 2015 football match, or if it is currently looking for a new sponsor for this year’s game. Last year’s “Bitcoin Bowl” was sponsored by BitPay, which signed a three-year deal to brand the college football game.
The ESPN representative told CoinDesk that “the decision to rebrand the event to the St. Petersburg Bowl was a mutual one between BitPay and ESPN.”
CoinDesk said that while last year’s bowl drew strong ratings and was symbolic event for the Bitcoin community, its effectiveness as a marketing tool was questioned by the mixed merchant reaction to its promotional efforts.
The news outlet said the comment is in response to a strong social media reaction that followed the removal of last year’s Bitcoin-oriented imagery from the bowl’s website and related social media platforms.
CoinDesk said ESPN did not provide any additional comment, and BitPay did not respond to requests for more information. A representative from Tropicana Field, the stadium that hosts the St. Petersburg Bowl, was not able to provide insight into the decision, telling CoinDesk that “we have no reason to think that bitcoin will not be back.”
Image courtesy of BitPay