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Report: Discover Card could become Orange Bowl title sponsor

With FedEx announcing earlier this year it was dropping its title sponsorship of the Orange Bowl college football game after 21 years – marking the longest reign as title sponsor of a BCS game – ESPN has been in negotiations with potential corporate partners for the game’s name.

Neither ESPN nor the Orange Bowl Committee are discussing the companies, but sources have told CNBC that Discover Financial Services is expected to strike a deal for the name.

The financial services company, which operates the Discover Card, has orange in its logo.

"We are engaged in active discussions with several advertisers around the Orange Bowl and will make an announcement at the appropriate time,” ESPN spokeswoman Amy Phillips said in a statement.

The Orange Bowl Committee is not negotiating the deal but is in regular communication with ESPN about it.

“We are in regular discussions with ESPN regarding the title sponsorship of the Orange Bowl,” Orange Bowl Committee CEO Eric Poms said in a statement. “There are active conversations in the marketplace around the title sponsorship of the Orange Bowl, which is viewed as a premier property and presents a tremendous marketing opportunity.”

A spokesman for Discover declined to comment.

In May, reports had Hershey’s Reese’s brand negotiating for the game’s title sponsorship.

The Orange Bowl committee announced FedEx as its game title sponsor in 1989 for the 1990 game -- before the Bowl Championship Series was formed in 1998. The Orange, Sugar, Rose and Fiesta bowls each host a BCS bowl game and the fifth BCS game is the national championship game, which rotates among the four bowls.

The Orange Bowl next hosts the national championship game in 2013.

Categories: Advertising (79), Orange Bowl (45), Sponsorship (101), Sun Life Stadium (24)

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About the author
CRAIG DAVIS In more than 33 years at the Sun Sentinel, Craig Davis has written about a wide variety of sports topics from baseball to yachting, fishing to triathlons, and also worked as a copy editor and page designer. Recently he reported on local sports, including running, swimming, cycling, equestrian and beach volleyball. He enjoys sports as a participant as well as a spectator, is active in the South Florida running scene plays in the curling club at Saveology Iceplex. This blog offers a glimpse at the business side of sports in the interest of enhancing enjoyment of the games and sporting options as a spectator as well as a participant.
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