SAN DIEGO (AP) — DirecTV expanded its reach into college sports when it became the title sponsor of the Holiday Bowl on Thursday.
Terms of the deal weren't disclosed and both the satellite TV provider and the bowl said the focus was on the 2023 game, in large part due to conference realignment. With the Pac-12 dissolving, the bowl is looking for another conference to match against the ACC starting in 2024.
“We have long-term aspirations, of course," said Mark Neville, CEO of Sports San Diego, which promotes the Holiday Bowl and other events. “We'd love for this to last for decades. But for now what we are doing is focusing on 2023."
This year’s game is set for Dec. 27 at Petco Park, the downtown home of baseball’s Padres.
This is DirecTV's first bowl sponsorship. DirectTV also sponsors Notre Dame athletics and the Big Ten Conference and Big Ten Network.
“We're watching it just as close as everybody else,” Jon Greer, DirectTV's head of communications and community, said after a news conference on the flight deck of the USS Midway Museum. ”But that's what we're excited about, too, about our Big Ten opportunity and the bowl season. College sports in general, but college football has more change than I think it has in the last 20 years, with talent and actual teams and what teams are doing."
The Holiday Bowl had been sponsored by the San Diego County Credit Union.
A skydiver delivered a banner with the bowl's new logo onto the flight deck of the retired aircraft carrier.
DirecTV "is such a huge brand," Neville said. “Not only is it good for the Holiday Bowl and San Diego, but it's really good for the entire bowl system, to have a sponsor that has the faith in what bowl games do and obviously what we do here in San Diego at the Holiday Bowl.”
In late May, the Holiday Bowl sued the Pac-12 and the University of California Regents for $3 million in damages because UCLA backed out of the 2021 game citing COVID-19 concerns. Neville said there was no update on the case.
AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-football