The reason why there are so many bowl games nowadays is because there are sponsors willing to shell out the money that keeps them afloat. Every year there are always a few exceptions because games are unable to find sponsors, and the Gator Bowl was actually one of three on that list this bowl season. After having Konica Minolta as a sponsor the last few years, the Gator Bowl entered this bowl season as just the Gator Bowl and nothing more.
Things have picked up for the game in recent weeks, though. After scheduling Michigan to play Mississippi State in Jacksonville on New Year's Day, tickets for the Gator Bowl started selling at a very high rate and there has been a lot of intrigue surrounding this matchup. This is why the decision was made to pit Michigan against Mississippi State, and it has paid off in more ways than one.
On top of selling a lot of tickets to the game already, the Gator Bowl has now added a title sponsor for its game. Progressive, the insurance company, has signed on to serve as the game's sponsor for at least one year.
The Gator Bowl Association will formally announce a one-year title sponsorship deal with Progressive today, with an option for three more that would carry the relationship for the full term of the current TV and conference affiliation deal.
"Progressive is one of the best-known brands in the country," Gator Bowl chairman Steve Tremel said. "Our association with them furthers our standing as one of the premier bowl games in the nation."
What this means is that officially, the game between Michigan and Mississippi State will be known as the Progressive Gator Bowl. It will still be referred to as simply the Gator Bowl by most, but going forward Progressive hopes that people will associate its company with the New Year's Day bowl game.