Weeks after the surprise announcement that it would drop bitcoin from the title of its St Petersburg Bowl, ESPN remains tight-lipped regarding its “mutual decision” with former St Petersburg Bowl sponsor BitPay to cut short its support for the event.
Though somewhat cryptic in its original response, an ESPN spokesperson has confirmed that “BitPay is no longer the sponsor” for the game, and that this year’s version is likely to bear the generic title the St Petersburg Bowl. BitPay, which offers bitcoin payment processing services, signed a three-year deal to provide financial support for the event last April.
Even despite the untimely ending to its contract, ESPN has suggested it may be open to sponsorship opportunities with companies in the bitcoin space when considering bowl game sponsors.
A spokesperson told CoinDesk:
When asked if multiple parties could perhaps come together in a bid to continue the sponsorship, ESPN was less clear, suggesting such a path would need higher approval.
“That is something the NCAA would have to answer,” the spokesperson added.
A full list of sponsorship rules can be found on the athletic association’s website.
Neither BitPay nor the NCAA responded to requests for further information.
Disclaimer: CoinDesk founder Shakil Khan is an investor in BitPay.
Football image via Shutterstock
CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.