The 2015 edition of the St Petersburg Bowl will not be known as the Bitcoin St Petersburg Bowl, according to ESPN.
A representative from the TV news source would not comment as to whether the move foretells a sponsorship change for this year's event, or if it is currently seeking a new sponsor for the 2015 bowl game. Last year's event was sponsored by bitcoin processor BitPay, which inked a three-year deal to brand the college football playoff.
The spokesperson told CoinDesk:
“The decision to rebrand the event to the St. Petersburg Bowl was a mutual one between both BitPay and ESPN.”
While the 'Bitcoin Bowl' was a ratings hit and a symbolic event for the bitcoin community at large, its effectiveness as a marketing tool was called into question by the mixed merchant reaction to its promotional tactics.
The comment is a response to strong social media reaction that followed the removal of last year's bitcoin-centric imagery from the event's website and related social media accounts.
ESPN offered no additional comment, while BitPay has been unresponsive to requests for further information. A representative from Tropicana Field, the stadium that hosts the annual event, was unable to provide insight into the matter, stating:
"We have no reason to think that bitcoin will not be back."
Disclaimer: CoinDesk founder Shakil Khan is an investor in BitPay.
Football image via Shutterstock