"Conference USA is delighted to have an opportunity to again partner with ESPN in another outstanding bowl game like the Fort Worth Bowl, " said Commissioner Britton Banowsky. "It is also exciting to see the overwhelming enthusiasm and support from the Fort Worth community. Conference USA is also pleased to have the opportunity to play the Big 12 Conference in a bowl game and in such a football-rich and tradition-laden area in the state of Texas."
ESPN Regional Television (ERT), a subsidiary of ESPN, Inc., will own and operate the Forth Worth Bowl and will be responsible for the bowl's organization, operation, sponsorship, marketing efforts and more. TCU will provide marketing, management and game day operations support for the Fort Worth Bowl. ESPN Regional Television will assign an executive director to be based in Fort Worth. Additional details, including sponsorship, are to be finalized.
"We are very pleased to bring a bowl game to this great football market, providing additional exposure to two partner conferences, the state of Texas, TCU and bowl sponsors," said Chuck Gerber, executive vice president, ESPN Regional Television. "ESPN's many media platforms - including television, radio, Internet and print - allow us to reach fans on many levels, maximizing the promotional and coverage opportunities for Fort Worth and this event."
Conference USA will begin the third year of an eight-year agreement with ESPN for football and basketball in 2003-04. The multi-faceted agreement includes ESPN and ESPN2's coverage of Conference USA football and men's basketball, syndication and network rights for the conference's football and basketball coverage through ESPN Regional Television, ESPN.com, ESPN Classic, marketing rights and more.
The champion of Conference USA plays in the AXA Liberty Bowl in Memphis. C-USA's other bowl agreements are with the GMAC Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, the ConAgra Foods Hawaii Bowl (which is also owned and operated by ESPN) and the New Orleans Bowl.
Conference USA's eighth football season gets underway on Saturday, August 30.