August 26, 2010: Discover Financial Services is giving it that new college try, signing a deal with the Orange Bowl Committee and ESPN to become title sponsor of the Orange Bowl games and the 2013 Bowl Championship Series national championship college football game.
Financial terms of the deal, which runs from 2011-2014, were not revealed. Discover replaces FedEx, which opted out the alliance earlier this year after having been naming rights partner for 21 years.
The game, first played in 1935, will be known as the Discover Orange Bowl and the 2013 title game to be hosted by the Orange Bowl in South Florida at Sun Life Stadium will be named the 2013 Discover BCS National Championship Game. Under the partnership, Discover will also be the official card of the Orange Bowl and the Bowl Championship Series.
Discover is expected to support with on-air TV and other national marketing, and will get signage within Sun Life Stadium. Additional support is anticipated to include print and Internet. Discover also has college football partnerships with Notre Dame football on NBC and the Big Ten Network. The four-year deal also includes the multi-media integration of Discover as part of ESPN’s season-long college football coverage and marketing.
ESPN will air the game and was involved in selling naming rights for the BSC college football games. ESPN will replace Fox as the network for the Discover Orange Bowl, Allstate Sugar Bowl, Tostitos Fiesta Bowl and BCS Allstate National Championship games. Allstate is title sponsor of the BCS title games in both 2011 and 2012.
"Their season-long, multi-media engagement, culminating with the Discover Orange Bowl, will provide a platform from which they can create a truly impactful experience for fans and unique rewards for their cardmembers."
The Orange Bowl Festival attracts thousands of visitors to the South Florida community and brought nearly $200 million in economic impact during the 2008-09 season, when the Orange Bowl Committee hosted both the Orange Bowl and BCS National Championship, according to the Orange Bowl Committee.
“Discover is passionate about college football and committed to activating their Orange Bowl sponsorship in a meaningful way," Ed Erhardt, president for ESPN customer marketing and sales, said in a statement. Their season-long, multi-media engagement, culminating with the Discover Orange Bowl, will provide a platform from which they can create a truly impactful experience for fans and unique rewards for their cardmembers. We look forward to growing this relationship between ESPN, Discover and the Orange Bowl in the coming years.”
According to Harit Talwar, president of U.S. Cards for Discover, “We are very excited to partner with the Orange Bowl and college football on ESPN. Our cardmembers are very passionate about college football. As title sponsor of the Orange Bowl, Discover will be rewarding our cardmembers all year long with exclusive benefits, including ticket offers and unique experiences at the Discover Orange Bowl. It’s a great way to show how it pays to Discover.”