AKRON, Ohio – The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company today announced a multiyear agreement renewing its title sponsorship of the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic played annually at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
With the agreement, Goodyear extends its more than six-decade association with college football that started with the iconic Goodyear Blimp providing aerial coverage of the 1955 Rose Bowl. From the Rose Bowl to the Cotton Bowl, the blimp has covered more than 2,000 college football games. In that time, the blimp has come to signify the magnitude of games and symbolize “Blimpworthy,” superior performances that take place on the field.
The Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic hosts marquee matchups as a member of the “New Year’s Six,” the top bowl games included in the College Football Playoff Semifinal rotation. The Cotton Bowl will host a College Football Playoff Semifinal in 2018, followed by semifinals in 2021 and 2024.
“Few games capture the college football experience and tradition like the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic, and we are proud to continue our title sponsorship of this celebrated game,” said Mike Dwyer, chief customer officer at Goodyear. “Goodyear has been a part of college football for more than 60 years and we are pleased to continue that authentic connection.”
In addition to the Cotton Bowl, Goodyear will continue its collaboration with ESPN, the exclusive media rights holder of the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic and the College Football Playoff. As part of this collaboration, Goodyear will provide aerial coverage for ESPN’s most-watched college football games. ESPN will also bring to life Goodyear’s position in the sport with multimedia support across their platforms and Goodyear will remain an Official Sponsor of the College Football Playoff.
“Goodyear has a storied history with college football and with ESPN,” said Rita Ferro, president, Disney advertising sales. “They’ve given fans a unique perspective of the game for decades, and we look forward to continuing our relationship for years to come.”
To celebrate the sponsorship renewal, Goodyear and the Cotton Bowl continued their tradition of creating life-sized sculptures – made out of tires – of the mascots of the competing teams. The sculptures recognize the drive and effort of each of the competing teams to make it to the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic. The sculptures were unveiled on Dec. 27 at AT&T Stadium.
This year, the tire art features the University of Notre Dame’s mascot, The Notre Dame Leprechaun and Clemson University’s mascot, The Clemson Tiger. The artwork took more than 500 hours to create and was constructed from more than 375 Goodyear-branded tires and 3,200 hidden screws.
The tire art will serve as the centerpiece for many of the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic festivities leading up to the game on Dec. 29. Each sculpture will be donated by Goodyear to the universities after the game. For a third consecutive year, the brand commissioned tire artist and former minor league baseball pitcher, Blake McFarland, to handcraft the statues.
“Each year we look forward to how Goodyear honors the participating teams in a creative way that is distinctively Goodyear,” said Michael Konradi, Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic chief marketing officer. “Goodyear’s history in college football and commitment to continually enhance the bowl game experience is one of the many reasons we’re proud to extend our partnership.”
The 2018 Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic game kicks off on ESPN on Dec. 29 at 3 p.m. CST.