Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. will have naming rights to the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic for years to come. The company announced a multi-year agreement to renew its sponsorship of the Cotton Bowl, played annually at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, prior to the University of Notre Dame-Clemson University football game.
The 2018 Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic game kicks off on ESPN on Saturday, Dec. 29 at 4 p.m. EST. Notre Dame, ranked No. 3, and Clemson, ranked No. 2, are part of the four-team NCAA College Football Playoff. The University of Alabama, ranked No. 1, will face the University of Oklahoma, ranked No. 4, in the second playoff game at 8 p.m. EST.
With the six-year agreement, Goodyear extends its more than six-decade association with college football that started with the iconic Goodyear Blimp providing aerial coverage of the 1955 Rose Bowl. From the Rose Bowl to the Cotton Bowl, the blimp has covered more than 2,000 college football games.
"Few games capture the college football experience and tradition like the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic, and we are proud to continue our title sponsorship of this celebrated game," said Mike Dwyer, Goodyear’s chief customer officer, North America consumer.
In addition to the Cotton Bowl, Goodyear will continue its collaboration with ESPN, the exclusive media rights holder of the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic and the College Football Playoff. As part of this collaboration, Goodyear will provide aerial coverage for ESPN’s most-watched college football games. In turn, ESPN will bring to life Goodyear’s position in the sport with multimedia support across their platforms, and Goodyear will remain an Official Sponsor of the College Football Playoff.
To celebrate the sponsorship renewal, Goodyear and the Cotton Bowl continued their tradition of creating life-sized sculptures of the mascots of the competing teams made out of tires. This year's mascots are the Notre Dame Leprechaun and Clemson Tiger.
The artwork took more than 500 hours to create and was constructed from more than 375 Goodyear tires and 3,200 hidden screws. The tire art served as the centerpiece for many of the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic festivities that led up to the Dec. 29, 2018, game between the teams.
For a third consecutive year, Goodyear commissioned tire artist and former minor league baseball pitcher Blake McFarland to handcraft the statues. Each sculpture will be donated by Goodyear to the universities after the game.