Lone Star Sports & Entertainment and ESPN Events announced earlier this week that Mercari, a Japanese e-commerce company, will be the new title sponsor of the Texas Bowl.
“We are excited to welcome Mercari as the new title sponsor of the Texas Bowl,” Texas Bowl executive director David Fletcher said in a statement. “The Mercari Texas Bowl has become one of the biggest college football events in the country through a strong partnership with the Big XII, SEC and many great supporters in the Houston community. We are thrilled to add a partner in Mercari, one of the most exciting new brands and e-commerce platforms in the U.S., to further elevate the event and the experience.”
Mercari, which has offices in San Francisco, is a selling app that has been downloaded more than 100 million times worldwide and features 350,000 new listings each day.
“Mercari is thrilled to serve as the title sponsor of the Mercari Texas Bowl in Houston,” Mercari CEO John Lagerling said. “This has been a challenging year for many Americans, and Mercari is committed to supporting the needs of everyone who loves and contributes to our marketplace. At its core, Mercari is about connecting people and we are looking forward to bringing football fans around the country together to enjoy the storied tradition of this iconic game.”
This marks the fourth different sponsor in the 15-year history of the Texas Bowl, which is owned by ESPN Events and managed by Lone Star Sports & Entertainment, a subsidiary of the Houston Texans. Previous sponsors include Meineke Car Care (2011-12), AdvoCare V100 (2014-16) and Academy Sports + Outdoors (2017-19).
The logo has remained relatively intact throughout the history of the Texas Bowl – which was played without a sponsor from its inception in 2006-10, as well as in 2013 – mimicking a silver, football-shaped belt buckle. Some of the details seen in the original have been covered by the sponsor’s logo or wordmark, however. The belt bucket was also gold from 2011-12, when the game was officially known as the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas.
The 2020 Mercari Texas Bowl will once again pit teams from the Big XII and SEC and will be broadcast live on ESPN. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. ET on Thursday, Dec. 31, at NRG Stadium in Houston.
Photo courtesy of @TexasBowl on Twitter.