[08/26/10 - 04:02 AM]
Discover to Serve as New Orange Bowl Game Title Sponsor
The Orange Bowl Game will be known as the "Discover Orange Bowl" on ESPN.

[via press release from ESPN]


Four-Year, Five-Game Deal with ESPN and the Orange Bowl Committee Includes 2013 Discover BCS National Championship Game

RIVERWOODS, Ill., MIAMI LAKES, Fla., and BRISTOL, Conn. - Discover Financial Services (DFS: NYSE), the Orange Bowl Committee and ESPN announced today that an agreement has been reached for Discover to be the title sponsor for the 2011-2014 Orange Bowl Games and the 2013 BCS National Championship Game. The Orange Bowl Game will be known as the "Discover Orange Bowl" and the 2013 BCS National Championship game to be hosted by the Orange Bowl in South Florida will be named the "2013 Discover BCS National Championship Game." Under the partnership, Discover will be the official card of the Orange Bowl and the Bowl Championship Series.

In conjunction with this new alliance, a new game mark has been developed that will be incorporated into all Discover Orange Bowl and BCS-related materials.

The four-year deal includes the multi-media integration of Discover as part of ESPN's season-long college football coverage and marketing.

"We are very excited to partner with the Orange Bowl and college football on ESPN," said Harit Talwar, President of U.S. Cards for Discover. "Our cardmembers are very passionate about college football. As title sponsor of the Orange Bowl, Discover will be rewarding their cardmembers all year long with exclusive benefits, including ticket offers and unique experiences at the Discover Orange Bowl. It's a great way to show how it pays to Discover."

"Discover's commitment to the Orange Bowl reinforces the game's national strength and appeal as one of the premier sporting events in the country," said Eric Poms, CEO of the Orange Bowl Committee. "We welcome Discover to South Florida and the home of championship college football and we look forward to a long and mutually beneficial partnership. Our shared passion will leave a lasting impact on our community, while further enriching the 77-year history of the Orange Bowl."

Added Ed Erhardt, President, ESPN Customer Marketing and Sales, "Discover is passionate about college football and committed to activating their Orange Bowl sponsorship in a meaningful way. Their season-long, multi-media engagement, culminating with the Discover Orange Bowl, will provide a platform from which they can create a truly impactful experience for fans and unique rewards for their cardmembers. We look forward to growing this relationship between ESPN, Discover and the Orange Bowl in the coming years."

Title sponsorship of the Orange Bowl and sponsorship of the BCS is further demonstration of Discover's commitment to college football. Discover also has college football partnerships with Notre Dame Football on NBC and the Big Ten Network.

The first Orange Bowl game was played in 1935 with the mission to bring tourism to South Florida through an annual football game and Festival. In its 77-year history, the Orange Bowl has hosted 19 National Champions, 17 Heisman Trophy winners and in 1965 became the first Bowl game to be played in prime time. The not-for-profit organization now serves as a foundation of the South Florida community by hosting championship sporting events, related premier entertainment and meaningful community-driven initiatives year-round to inspire youth, engage families and make South Florida a better place. The Orange Bowl Festival attracts thousands of visitors to the South Florida community, and brought nearly $200 million in economic impact during the 2008-09 season, when the Orange Bowl Committee hosted both the Orange Bowl and BCS National Championship.

The Discover Orange Bowl is one of five BCS Bowl games, which take place annually in four locations: South Florida, Pasadena, Calif., the Phoenix area and New Orleans. All five games will be televised on ESPN as part of a new agreement. Allstate has renewed as title sponsor of the 2011-2014 Allstate Sugar Bowls and the 2012 Allstate BCS National Championship Game. The schedule for the BCS Bowl games on ESPN follows.

Sat, Jan 1

5 p.m. ET Rose Bowl Game ESPN / ESPN Radio

8:30 p.m. ET Fiesta Bowl ESPN / ESPN Radio

Mon, Jan 3

8:30 p.m. ET Discover Orange Bowl ESPN / ESPN Radio

Tue, Jan 4

8:30 p.m. ET Allstate Sugar Bowl ESPN / ESPN Radio

Mon, Jan 10

8:30 p.m. ET BCS National Championship Game ESPN / ESPN Radio

# # #

About Discover

Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) is a direct banking and payment services company with one of the most recognized brands in U.S. financial services. Since its inception in 1986, the company has become one of the largest card issuers in the United States. The company operates the Discover card, America's cash rewards pioneer, and offers personal and student loans, online savings accounts, certificates of deposit and money market accounts through its Discover Bank subsidiary. Its payment businesses consist of Discover Network, with millions of merchant and cash access locations; PULSE, one of the nation's leading ATM/debit networks; and Diners Club International, a global payments network with acceptance in more than 185 countries and territories. For more information, visit www.discoverfinancial.com.

About the Orange Bowl Committee

The Orange Bowl Committee is a not-for-profit, 343-member, primarily-volunteer organization. It is a self-sustaining, independent organization that supports and produces activities and events that enhance the image, economy and culture of South Florida. The Orange Bowl Festival features a year-round schedule of events culminating with the Discover Orange Bowl on January 3, 2011. Other OBC core events include the MetroPCS Orange Bowl Basketball Classic, Orange Bowl Youth Football Alliance, Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships and Orange Bowl Sailing Regatta Series. For more information on the 2010-11 Orange Bowl Festival and its events, including promotional and volunteer opportunities through the Ambassador Program, log on to www.orangebowl.org.

About ESPN, Inc.

ESPN, Inc. is the world's leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company featuring a portfolio of over 50 multimedia sports assets. The company is comprised of six domestic television networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPNU, ESPN Classic & ESPN Deportes), ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU & ESPNEWS HD simulcast services, ESPN Regional Television, ESPN International (46 networks, syndication, radio, web sites), ESPN Radio, ESPN.com, ESPN The Magazine, ESPN Enterprises, ESPN PPV, ESPN Zones (sports-themed restaurants), and other growing new businesses including ESPN3.com (Broadband, formerly ESPN360.com), ESPN Mobile Properties, ESPN on Demand and ESPN Interactive. Based in Bristol, Conn., ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., which is an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN.

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