ATLANTA, April 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the Chick-fil-A Bowl became the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl once again, and a new era for post-season college football in Atlanta officially began. The Bowl's announcement was amplified by the news that Chick-fil-A has become the first of the new College Football Playoff bowl sponsors to announce its new agreement with ESPN.
Representatives from Peach Bowl, Inc., Chick-fil-A, ESPN, the College Football Playoff and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed gathered today to reveal the new name and logo associated with the Bowl's elevation into the new College Football Playoff and announce Chick-fil-A's enhanced title sponsorship agreement with ESPN and Peach Bowl, Inc.
The name change and new logo come as a direct result of the Bowl's inclusion in the College Football Playoff where the use of a traditional moniker is required for the six top-tier bowls that will host the playoffs.
"This is a remarkable day in our history when we can all come together as partners to celebrate these milestones," said Gary Stokan, Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl president and CEO. "This not only represents the beginning of our new era in the College Football Playoff, but a reconnection to our history and tradition by bringing the peach back into our name. Chick-fil-A's agreement with ESPN and the Bowl allows us to continue a 17-year relationship regarded as one of the most successful in the industry."
The six-year agreement between Chick-fil-A and ESPN, the rights-holder for the College Football Playoff, grants Chick-fil-A exclusive title sponsorship of the Peach Bowl and provides additional sponsorship considerations within the framework of the other five College Football Playoff bowls and the national championship game. The deal will also result in an increased presence throughout the year across the ESPN family of networks and ESPN digital platforms with an emphasis on college football programming.
"Chick-fil-A has had the privilege of playing a role in the Bowl's growth over the last 17 years, helping raise the profile of the game," said Steve Robinson, Chick-fil-A executive vice president and chief marketing officer. "We now look forward to helping the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl elevate to a national stage."
"From Kickoff to Playoff, Chick-fil-A's continued collaboration and multimedia investment in the College Football Playoff, through our Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl partnership, will help serve our fans and their customers the true excitement of this new era in college football," said Ed Erhardt, president of global customer marketing and sales at ESPN.
Beginning this season, the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl will join the Cotton, Fiesta, Orange, Rose and Sugar Bowls in making up the group of six bowls that will host the new College Football Playoff.
This marks a return to the name the Bowl used for nine years from 1997-2005. Since 2006, the Bowl has been called the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Prior to 1997, the game used its original name, the Peach Bowl, dating to the Bowl's inception in 1968.
The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl is set to host its first national Semifinal Game (#1 vs #4 or #2 vs #3) following the 2016 season and will host games in 2014 and 2015 featuring top-ranked teams as assigned by the College Football Playoff Selection Committee. The Bowl will host a Semifinal game every third year over the first six years of the College Football Playoff. The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl has already announced its intent to lead the bid for, and help win the rights to host, the National Championship Game following the 2017 season, coinciding with the opening of the Falcons' new Atlanta stadium.
"The College Football Playoff is thrilled to welcome the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl into its top tier of bowls that will help us host the National Semifinal games," said Michael Kelly, chief operating officer for the College Football Playoff. "There is no doubt the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl belongs in this elite group based on its commitment to community outreach and a first-class fan and student-athlete experience."
As a member of the top tier of all college bowls, the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl's national profile will get a bump – a bump that is expected to be felt by its host city of Atlanta as well.
The elevated profile of the game, coupled with the higher-ranked teams the bowl will host and the increased demand for tickets, is expected to raise projections for the Bowl's annual economic impact on Atlanta's hospitality industry. Over the last 10 years, the Bowl has delivered an annual average economic impact of $31.1 million with an average of $1.4 million in direct tax revenue being generated.
"There is no doubt this is a big win for the City of Atlanta," Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said. "It's a win for our economy. It's a win for our hospitality community. It's a win for Chick-fil-A, one of our home-grown companies, and it's a win for our 46-year bowl game tradition and our already strong college football profile."
About Peach Bowl, Inc.:
Peach Bowl, Inc. is the 501(c)3 organization that owns and operates the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Challenge charity golf tournament and was the original recruiter and founding sponsor of the new College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta. PBI was originally founded by the Georgia Lion's Club in 1967 and hosted its first NCAA-sanctioned Peach Bowl game in Atlanta in 1968.
About the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl:
The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl is the ninth-oldest bowl game in the country (46 years) and is currently one of six elite national bowl games to be selected to host the new College Football Playoff. In 2014 and 2015, the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl will host games of top nationally ranked teams as assigned by the College Football Playoff Selection Committee. In 2016, the Bowl will host its first National Semifinal Game (#1 vs. #4 or #2 vs. #3).
The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl has recorded a string of 17 consecutive sellouts and has earned a reputation as one of the most competitive bowls in the country, with 56% of its games being decided by a touchdown or less. The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl has disbursed more than $125 million in team payouts over its 46-year history and has increased team payout every year since 1996. The Bowl also leads all other bowl games in charitable and scholarship contributions, giving more than $16.3 million to organizations in need since 2002. The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl was a 2008 winner of the Atlanta Business Chronicle's Philanthropy Award and was named a Top 300 Businesses of the South in 2011 by Business Leader Media.
About Chick-fil-A, Inc.
Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A, Inc. is a family owned and privately held restaurant company dedicated to serving the communities in which its restaurants operate. Credited with inventing the chicken sandwich, Chick-fil-A serves nutritious, freshly prepared food in more than 1,800 restaurants in 39 states and Washington, D.C.
Founded by S. Truett Cathy in 1967, Chick-fil-A produced sales of $5 billion in 2013. Chick-fil-A was recognized in 2013 as one of America's "Most Inspiring Companies" by Forbes Magazine and "Best Places to Work" by Glassdoor™, among other honors. More information on Chick-fil-A is available on the chain's website, located at www.chick-fil-a.com.
SOURCE Peach Bowl, Inc.