Kraft Foods Gets Naming Rights To Post-Season College Bowl Game

April 15, 2010: Kraft Foods has signed a three-year deal with the San Francisco Bowl Game Assn. to become title sponsor of the annual college football game played at AT&T Park in San Francisco.

The game, played between teams from the Pacific-10 (PAC-10) and the Western Athletic Conference (WAC), will be known as the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. Kraft said it would be part of a broader hunger relief program the company plans to launch in September in collaboration with Feeding America, a leading hunger-relief organization.

The game had been known as the Emerald Bowl since its inception in 2002, when Diamond of California acquired naming rights. Financial terms of the deal with Kraft Foods were not disclosed.

Corporate partners include Hyatt, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Macy's, HP, AT&T, EA Sports, Honda, Wells Fargo and a plethora of companies and media outlets in and around the San Francisco Bay Area. The Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl will be played January 9, 2011, and carried nationally in prime time by ESPN, which said the game consistently ranks among its highest viewed college bowl telecasts.

"This is a great day for our game," Gary Cavalli, executive director of the the San Francisco Bowl Game Assn., a non-profit group, said in a statement.  "We're proud and excited to partner with Kraft Foods, one of the most well-known and highly-respected companies in the world."

According to Cavalli, the game has generated nearly $100 million in economic impact for the City and County of San Francisco since its inception.  

Kraft Foods said it plans to leverage the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl to spearhead a national hunger initiative in collaboration with Feeding America, "building upon a decades-long partnership to fight hunger." Kraft also plans to "showcase its power brands on big stages."

 "Our strategic approach is to leverage these partnerships to connect our flagship brands to key audiences in a big way,"  Stephen Chriss, senior director, marketing partnerships, for Kraft Foods North America, said in a statement. "They provide major opportunities for integrated marketing and merchandising platforms that create excitement in and out of store."

Over the next four years, the game will match a PAC-10 representative against the top team in the WAC, twice, with Army scheduled in 2011 and Navy in 2012. Several of college football's top teams have already participated the former Emerald Bowl, including previous national champions USC, Miami and Florida State, as well as California, Boston College, UCLA, Oregon State and Utah.  

"This agreement ensures that we have a bright future," said Cavalli.  "With Kraft Foods as our title sponsor, and the distinction of being the only bowl focused on a meaningful social cause, we will continue to build the game and take it to the next level."

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