Barstool Sports will be joining the college football scene by becoming the exclusive title sponsor and broadcast partner of the Arizona Bowl. Scheduled for December 31st, this year’s Arizona Bowl coverage will move from the traditional TV coverage by CBS to online viewing via Barstool Sports’ website, mobile app, and social media channels.
Said Barstool CEO Erika Nardini in an interview:
“We really believe that what we can do is take the best of traditional broadcast and take the best of traditional sponsorship and do both in a brand new way. We think we’ll bring new fans. We know we will bring a level of energy, and we’ll cover the game in a way that is completely unique, and uniquely Barstool.”
Not the Original Intention
With this deal, Barstool Sports will be broadcasting a college football game for the first time ever, although that was not the company’s original intention. According to Nardini, the initial conversations were about straight sponsorship but eventually, it included discussion on distribution “by virtue of that sponsorship”.
The deal was facilitated by sponsorship agency Impression Sports, a Playfly Sports company. Impression Sports also brokered title sponsorship deals for other postseason college football games including the Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl, Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl, and the Cheez-it Bowl which was formerly the Tangerine Bowl.
Emphasis on Collegiate Sports
Barstool Sports has put an emphasis on collegiate sports this year. Last spring, they organized the “Let Them Play” Classic in Chandler, Arizona after the NCAA women’s golf regional was canceled. They also launched Barstool Athletics Inc. recently to partner with hundreds of NCAA athletes as ambassadors in the wake of the NIL.
The Arizona Bowl was first played in 2015 and last year, it involved teams from the Mountain West and Mid-American Conferences. It is played annually at the University of Arizona stadium and is owned and operated by Tucson-based non-profit TD4Tucson, which donates 100% of net proceeds to charity. With the Barstool Sportsbook expected to launch in Arizona this fall, getting involved in the Arizona Bowl was a good move.