On December 26, 2014, two college football teams will face off in the world's first ever Bitcoin Bowl, sponsored by BitPay. How cool is that? Thousands of football fans across the nation will watch the game on ESPN and ought to start seeing Bitcoin as more important that they originally thought. Many may even be introduced to cryptocurrency for the first time.
It's clear that this can only be a fantastic thing for Bitcoin. If we're lucky, many of those viewers will have their interest sparked and will want to learn more about the world-changing innovation known as cryptocurrency. Even those who outwardly ignore the advertising might subconsciously become more familiar with Bitcoin, which could help reduce the effects of the nasty media coverage that Bitcoin has received in the past.
I'm certainly no expert on marketing strategies, but I think I can make some meaningful observations based on the endless stream of marketing we experience daily. Corporate giants thrive on brand recognition. Does anyone really go to McDonald's just because they see the golden arches during a football game? Probably not consciously. And the Bitcoin Bowl will be played at Tropicana Field, but is that because Tropicana has some special admiration for football stadiums? Of course not.
It's because a huge portion of the population is obsessed football, and Tropicana can capitalize on something that is so meaningful to people. Grocery shoppers don't say, "Hey, I'll buy Tropicana because I saw the brand on that stadium." Rather, they simply feel more comfortable with the brand because they see it regularly and they associate it with things that they enjoy.
That is what BitPay is trying to achieve for Bitcoin. In the past, many people have been afraid of Bitcoin. They have seen it as confusing, dangerous, illegal, immoral, insecure, etc., and many still hold those opinions. BitPay wants to change that. The company wants people to feel more comfortable with Bitcoin and understand that it's not the evil beast they thought it was.
Another interesting thing to notice is that the game will be called the Bitcoin Bowl, not the BitPay Bowl. BitPay's CEO, Tony Gallippi, knows that his company is a gigantic player in the Bitcoin world and he's not worried about promoting Bitcoin in general instead of just BitPay, even though it will likely benefit some of his competitors. In part, he probably believes that almost everyone who uses Bitcoin will eventually use BitPay, and that certainly makes sense, but I think there's a little more to it.
I think he knows that there is still a massive amount of room for growth in the Bitcoin economy. Sure, Coinbase might gain some customers because of the Bitcoin Bowl, but who cares? This amazing community is still growing. It is still an amazing place to be and there is still room for everyone. How cool is that?