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Oct182010

Go Daddy Vows: After GoDaddy.com Bowl, College Football Will Never Be The Same

October 18, 2010: Go Daddy, which has made its mark by being irreverent and, some would say, more than slightly risqué in motor sports, Super Bowl marketing and other sports endeavors, is taking on college football. The Web hosting provider and domain name registrar has signed a deal to become title sponsor of the GoDaddy.com Bowl, which will be played on Jan. 6, 2011, between teams from the Mid-American and Sun Belt Conferences.

The post-season collegiate football game, formerly known as the GMAC Bowl, will be broadcast live on ESPN. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

As a heads-up to the NCAA, Go Daddy is already boasting on the GoDaddy.com Bowl Web site, "College football will never be the same." Observers would not be faulted if the immediate image that comes to mind is the Marx Brothers in a football game between Darwin and Huxley Colleges in the film, Horse Feathers.

"We thought it was about time Go Daddy had its own Bowl game – the GoDaddy.com Bowl has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?" Bob Parsons, Go Daddy CEO and founder, said in a statement. "Football is one of America’s favorite pastimes, and if college football fans are anything, they are passionate and loyal. We like that!”

Go Daddy said that it's title sponsorship also will be the catalyst for other ventures, including a "Kids Zone" during the game in which about 3,000 kids from the host city of Mobile, Ala., will get to watch the game for free in their own section. The GoDaddy.com Bowl Web site also links to a Go Daddy Marketplace, which includes a variety of NFL-branded items.

Would college football fans love it if Danica Patrick showed up at the GoDaddy.com Bowl?Go Daddy did not detail its planned marketing support, which likely would include Go Daddy ads flagging Super Bowl XLV a month later. Among other sports relationships, Go Daddy is the lead sponsor for race car driver Danica Patrick and has been a Super Bowl advertiser for several years, usually featuring TV spots loaded with sexual innuendo that direct viewers to the company's Web site for more revealing images. The company also recently signed celebrity fitness trainer Jillian Michaels as a spokesperson.

TheGoDaddy.com Bowl was first played in 1999, with GMAC Financial Services taking over title sponsorship in 2001, at Ladd Peebles Stadium. Last season, Central Michigan defeated Troy, 44-41 in double overtime. Corporate sponsors last season included Exxon Mobil, Hershey's, FedEx, the U.S. Coast Guard and numerous local companies. It was not indicated whether or not the previous deals would continue and whether new or additional marketing partners would be brought in.

According to Jerry Silverstein, president of GoDaddy.com Bowl, "We're excited to have a powerhouse like Go Daddy behind Mobile's biggest event of the year. Go Daddy stepped up big time for this sponsorship, which is good for all of us."

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