That's Just Peachy: Chick-Fil-A Surprised By Possible Name Change To Bowl Game
Chick-fil-A apparently was "surprised by word of an impending name change” to the Atlanta-based bowl game it title sponsors as part of the game's acceptance to the College Football Playoff rotation, according to Tim Tucker of the ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION. Chick-fil-A Exec VP & CMO Steve Robinson did not discuss the situation Thursday, instead writing in an e-mail, “At this stage, I am not in a position to give you any more definitive information concerning the bowl’s name.” Tucker notes the game has been known as the Chick-fil-A Bowl since it dropped "Peach" from the name in '06. The QSR would "have to negotiate a new sponsorship deal” as part of the move to the CFP, and a name change “undoubtedly would be part of upcoming negotiations.” But if the name Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl is “readopted, that would make the name more in keeping with other bowls in the playoff rotation.” Including a bowl’s traditional name alongside a corporation’s “ensures some consistency if title sponsors change over the years.” As part of its deal to “televise the four-team playoff, ESPN obtained the exclusive naming and marketing rights to the bowls in the semifinal rotation.” That means a title sponsor, which “in the past negotiated directly with the local bowl, will have to reach a deal with ESPN.” ESPN Communications Manager Michael Humes said that the net has “no role in deciding to reinstall" the Peach name. Robinson earlier this week said that Chick-fil-A has “very high hopes” of continuing its role into the playoff environment, “but we’ve got to negotiate that and preserve our title sponsorship” (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 4/26).