As college football fans enjoy the dozens of marquee matchups through the three-week college bowl season, one game will stand out not because of the quality of teams but for its new sponsor -- bitcoin.
Bitcoin is a virtual currency that exists only online. Its value, currently around $600, is based on an algorithm. Investors buy bitcoins with dollars, euros and other real currency. A purchase with bitcoins typically involves transferring an amount from the buyer's bitcoin "digital wallet" to the seller's wallet on the Internet.
The newly christened Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl is scheduled for Dec. 26 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, and will be aired on ESPN. Tickets to the game, which will feature bowl-eligible teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference and American Athletic Conference, can be purchased with both dollars and, of course, bitcoins.
In a statement, Bitpay Executive Chairman Tony Gallippi said the sponsorship will help move bitcoin more into the mainstream.
“College football fans and the bitcoin community represent a similar target demographic -- tech-savvy men between the ages of 18 and 40,” he said in a statement.
Bowl games typically attract more than a million viewers, and the 2012 St. Petersburg Bowl game between the University of Central Florida and Ball State attracted a television audience of 1.9 million, according to sportsmediawatch.com.
Bitpay chose to name the bowl game after bitcoin and not after the company in an attempt to further mainstream the currency, which in turn helps Bitpay.
“If bitcoin is doing well, Bitpay is doing well,” spokeswoman Jan Jahosky said.
Bitpay is planning on holding bitcoin-related events during the lead-up to the game and throughout the broadcast, but no real schedule is in place at this time.
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