Penn State began the 2022 calendar year by losing to Arkansas in the Outback Bowl. It will officially be Pen State’s last Outback Bowl appearance. But don’t worry, the bowling game itself isn’t going anywhere. It will simply sport a new name in the future.
On Friday, the Tampa Bay Bowl Association announced that it will rename the Jan. 1 bowl as the Tampa Bay Bowl, with a new logo to match the new name. Bowling will continue its existing partnership with the Big Ten, SEC and ACC, along with media partner ESPN.
“We are thrilled with our new Tampa Bay Bowl logo and name, which is a reflection of our 36-year relationship with the vibrant Tampa Bay region as one of the most exciting and hospitable destinations for any college bowl game,” said Rita , president of the Tampa Bay Bowl. Lowman said in a released statement. “We look forward to continuing the positive impact of the Tampa Bay Bowl on college football and the Tampa Bay community, both financially and showcasing our region nationally and internationally.”
However, in the age of sponsored bowl names, it would be a pretty good guess to say that this bowl game won’t keep this name for long. The fact that the name is the Tampa Bay Bowl now suggests that the bowl game organization was unable to secure the kind of sponsorship deal it was hoping to get and is still hoping to get one one day.
Simply put, there is too much money to pass up to have a bowling game without some sort of corporate sponsor, either as the presenting sponsor or taking on the name of the bowl itself. But since the game has adopted the name of the Tampa Bay Bowl, it is more likely that the game will join or have an introductory sponsorship, but details will be available later.
Hopefully we all enjoyed the free blooming onions and fried shrimp while we could. And maybe Outback Steakhouse will join another bowling game as a sponsor to keep that tradition alive.
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