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Zaxby’s and the Heart of Dallas Bowl announced that the chicken fingers and wings restaurant chain will become the new title sponsor of the collegiate post-season game. Owned and operated by ESPN Events, a subsidiary of ESPN, the game will be called the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl and played on Friday, December 26, at historic Cotton Bowl Stadium. The sponsorship will be for four years through the 2017 bowl game, with an option to extend for a longer period.
“We are delighted to join with an organization that is fully dedicated to supporting college football, and look forward to expanding the Zaxby’s brand across the nation with the title sponsorship of our bowl game,” says Brant Ringler, executive director of the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl. “It’s only fitting that the ‘Official Chicken of Sports Fanz’ will be on hand to enhance the experience of our participating teams and football fans that travel to Dallas.”
Zaxby’s offers prepared-at-order chicken fingers, wings, sandwiches ,and salads. Based in Athens, Georgia, Zaxby’s is a fast-growing restaurant chain, operating more than 640 stores in 15 states.
"To reinforce our brand as the Official Chicken of Sports Fanz and extend our reach as an emerging national concept, Zaxbys offers an Indescribably Good experience in our restaurants and on the field during the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl," says Zach McLeroy, CEO and cofounder of Zaxby's. “We believe the sponsorship of a national bowl will allow our loyalists as well as our new fans to connect with us on an even bigger playing field.”
The fifth annual Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl will be on ESPN for the first time after playing on ESPNU the past four years. The radio broadcast will transmit nationwide through the Heart of Dallas Bowl Radio Network. The game will feature a team from Conference USA against a member of the Big Ten Conference. Last year’s contest saw the University of North Texas defeat UNLV 36-14.
The bowl will occur during the 85th year of games being played at Cotton Bowl Stadium on the grounds of Fair Park, which features 227 acres of museums, attractions, history, art, and performances located in the heart of the ninth largest city in the U.S.
The Heart of Dallas Bowl is one of 11 owned and operated bowl games by ESPN Events.