Mobile’s college football bowl game has landed a new title sponsor, just a few months after it was revealed that Dollar General had pulled its support.
On Monday, Jan. 6, 2020, the game will be played under the moniker of the Lendingtree Bowl, board president Jerry Silverstein told Lagniappe Friday afternoon.
Lendingtree is an online loan marketplace for various financial borrowing needs, and Silverstein said its sponsorship of the game proves Mobile can attract top-tier support from around the country.
“It’s a big win for us and for the city,” he said. “It helps with recognizing us and what we’re doing.”
Officials haven’t released many other details at this time. Silverstein said Lendingtree signed a one-year contract but did not disclose what it paid for naming rights. Regardless, the sponsorship will help defray the $1.2 million in costs the city is responsible for through its contract with the bowl game.
The game, which will be played a week before the College Football Playoff National Championship, will feature a team from the SunBelt Conference against another from the Mid-America Conference.
Since the game’s inception 21 years ago, the city has paid more than $1.1 million upfront to host the annual game. Sponsorship money is then used to defray or cover the cost of that initial city investment. In addition to that, Silverstein said, the city benefits from sales tax on tickets, lodgings taxes and sales taxes on food during what is normally a dead period, following the holiday season.
The economic impact of the game is also important to the city. A study conducted in 2010 by University of South Alabama professor Christopher Keshock, Ph.D, showed that the bowl game had a $19 million economic impact on Mobile due to the fans who travel to the game from other cities.
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