BitPay executive chairman Tony Gallippi announced today that his company paid for its upcoming college football bowl game sponsorship in bitcoin.
The surprise news came at a press conference held by BitPay and the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce to promote the upcoming Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl.
There, Gallippi revealed that BitPay paid ESPN Events, a subsidiary of the popular US sports network ESPN, in bitcoin in order to secure the sponsorship, a company spokesperson confirmed with CoinDesk. Notably, Tampa Bay Business Journal has estimated that its full contract with the broadcaster is estimated at roughly $1.5m over the course of three years.
The event was held at the St. Petersburg Museum, which has announced that it will accept bitcoin as part of BitPay’s wider promotion for December’s main event, joining a list of merchants that includes Ferg’s Sports Bar and Grill, Green Bench Brewery Co and Hotel Zamora.
In addition to Gallippi, BitPay CEO Stephen Pair and BitPay executive director of the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl Brett Dulaney were also in attendance.
The Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl will be held on 26th December.
About the bowl
The news is the latest update on BitPay and its work to promote bitcoin through the major televised sporting event. Announced on 18th June, the promotion was widely covered by the mainstream media, including The Wall Street Journal, Sports Illustrated and the editorial arm of ESPN.
BitPay further highlighted its plans for the game at The North American Bitcoin Conference (TNABC) in July, appearing at the event with an ESPN representative.
The postseason sporting event takes place at the end of the NCAA college football regular season. In lieu of a traditional bracket-style playoff, teams are paired based on their performance in the regular season, before facing off in matches in individual bowl games.
In total, 39 bowl games will be held at the end of this year.
Disclaimer: CoinDesk founder Shakil Khan is an investor in BitPay.