Xbox Named Presenting Sponsor of Inaugural C-USA Football Championship
Nov. 21, 2005
Conference USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky and CSTV Networks Co-founder and President Chris Bevilacqua announced today that Xbox 360 has entered into an agreement to be the presenting sponsor for the league's inaugural football championship on Saturday, December 3. After this past weekend's play, UCF is confirmed as the East Division Champion, and the game will be played in Orlando at the Florida Citrus Bowl. If UTEP wins at SMU this coming Saturday, the UTEP Miners will be the West Division Champion. If UTEP loses, Tulsa will win the West Division title.
CSTV carries Conference USA football games on cable and satellite, and as part of its special C-USA "All Access" broadband and pay-per-view packages. This championship will air on ESPN and CSTV: College Sports Television will provide in-depth coverage of the event throughout the week. Kick-off time will be Noon EST.
"We are pleased that Xbox 360 will be the presenting sponsor of our first-ever football championship game," said Banowsky. "This will be an outstanding event, only enhanced by the sponsorship of such an exciting and high-profile company."
"A huge portion of our core audience is of course college-age and college sports fans," said Bill Nielsen, Director, Xbox U.S. Subsidiary. "We're very proud to be part of this history-making event, and look forward to watching Conference USA build in strength and popularity." Xbox and CSTV recently announced they are partnering as well on the new Collegiate Nationals event next spring.
"Following a bidding process among multiple companies, the value of this championship has been solidly established," Bevilacqua said. "Conference USA is a league on the rise; we're delighted to be playing a role in its success and always happy to work with Xbox, such a strong supporter of CSTV and college sports." Bevilacqua noted that CSTV is also managing sponsorship rights for C-USA's basketball championship airing on CBS next spring, "another example of integration with our parent company-to-be."
Microsoft revolutionized the gaming industry with the November 2001 launch of Xbox (http://www.xbox.com), its first-generation video games and entertainment system, now sold in 26 countries around the world. This holiday season Microsoft debuts its next-generation system, the most powerful video game and entertainment system ever created, delivering the best games, the next generation of the premier Xbox Live online gaming service, and unique digital entertainment experiences.
Conference USA welcomed six new members this past fall, giving the league 12 football-playing members for the first time: East Carolina, Houston, Marshall, Memphis, Rice, SMU, Southern Miss, Tulane, Tulsa, UAB, UCF and UTEP. The current roster has produced 83 players appearing on opening-day NFL teams including pro bowl players such as QB Brett Favre, QB Duante Culpepper, WR Randy Moss and CB Patrick Surtain. Earlier this year, Conference USA entered the first year of a six-year agreement with CSTV Networks for all league television, broadband and satellite radio rights, as well as corporate marketing and sponsorship.
CSTV Networks Inc. is the leading digital and cable programming network dedicated to college sports. Connecting more fans to more college sports than any other company, its many platforms for programming distribution include CSTV: College Sports TV, televising regular-season and championship events for 35 men's and women's college sports; CSTV.com and its network of nearly 250 official athletic sites; CSTV All Access, online and pay-per-view subscription services providing live audio and video of more than 7,000 events annually; as well as satellite television and radio, in-flight entertainment, wireless networks and more. In November, CBS announced it will purchase CSTV for $325 million, effective January, 2006. Further information is available at www.CSTV.com.