New Era Pinstripe Bowl partners up with Big Ten

The Yankees and the New Era Pinstripe Bowl announced Monday a partnership with the Big Ten Conference. The eight-year affiliation will cover the period from 2014 through 2021 marks the first bowl tie-in for the conference on the East Coast where it has recently expanded with the additions of Rutgers and Maryland.

“The Big Ten Conference playing college football at Yankee Stadium is something I know my father would have been proud to see come to fruition,” Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said. “Welcoming a national powerhouse conference like the Big Ten to participate in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl and partner with the New York Yankees for years to come only expands the prestige of our great annual bowl game in New York City.”

Former Yankees owner George Steinbrenner’s interest in Big Ten football extended to his taunting shortstop Derek Jeter, who attended the University of Michigan, whenever Ohio State defeated the Wolverines. As Hal Steinbrenner pointed out in Monday’s news conference at the Stadium his mother attended Ohio State and his father coached football at Northwestern and Purdue.

“Our family has a strong Big Ten connection,” he said.

“Once we saw the success of the New Era Pinstripe Bowl it became obvious – especially with the Big Ten’s growing East Coast footprint – that being in the media capital of the world at one of sports’ most renowned venues was a natural pairing,” Big Ten commissioner James Delany said. “By agreeing to an eight-year partnership, it increases the likelihood that most of the Big Ten schools will have the opportunity to participate in the game while giving our coaches, student athletes, administrators and fans the opportunity to experience the nation’s biggest metropolis and an iconic setting like Yankee Stadium.”

Established in 2010, the New Era Pinstripe Bowl has featured some of the most memorable moments of bowl seasons in a short period, including the inaugural 2010 game in which Kansas State missed a potential game-tying, two-point conversion in the final minute and the record-setting 208-yard rushing performance by Syracuse’s Prince-Tyson Gulley in last year’s game.

The 2012 New Era Pinstripe Bowl featured six 2013 National Football League draft picks, including each of the game’s starting quarterbacks – Syracuse’s Ryan Nassib (Giants) and West Virginia’s Geno Smith (Jets).

“A lot of people were skeptical at the beginning, but in three years it has been a great success,”
Yankees president Randy Levine said of the New Era Pinstripe Bowl. “There is no better place during the holiday season than New York City. They make movies and write songs about New York at that time of year. We thank the Big 12 for its involvement, but the Big 10 is much more geographically suited for us. The Boss is smiling tonight.”

Syracuse’s 38-14 victory over West Virginia recorded a 3.9 household rating. For bowls played prior to New Year’s Day, only the Chick-fil-A Bowl (5.6) and the Alamo Bowl (4.8) had better overall ratings. After drawing a 2.5 total rating in 2011, the New Era Pinstripe Bowl’s 56-percent ratings increase was the second largest for all bowls on ESPN this past season through Jan. 1, 2013. Only the Armed Forces Bowl (plus 62 percent) bested the New Era Pinstripe Bowl for the largest ratings increase from 2011 to 2012.

In addition, the New Era Pinstripe Bowl has had increased attendance in each of its first three years with a record crowd of 41,203 in 2012.

“As we continue to build equity in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl, partnering with the Big Ten Conference will bring a whole new level of premier talent to this event,” New Era chief executive officer Christopher Koch said. “We’re excited to have such a prestigious conference on board.”

The 2013 New Era Pinstripe Bowl will take place Saturday, Dec. 28. It will be national televised by ESPN, which has also secured national and local radio rights for ESPN Radio. Fans are encouraged to visit newerapinstriplebowl.com, the game’s official website, for access to up-to-the-moment information and sign up to volunteer.

In the week before the New Era Pinstripe Bowl, players, coaches and university staff take part in a variety of events, showcasing their respective universities to the New York metropolitan area. Special events, promotions and community outreach will take place throughout New York City during the week of the bowl game.

Prior to the inception of the New Era Pinstripe Bowl in 2010, the last college football game that had been played in the Bronx was in 1962 when Nebraska edged Miami (Fla.), 36-34, in the Gotham Bowl at the original Yankee Stadium.

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