Apr 12, 2011 at 08:58 PM
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Bowl Brand Awareness Takes Another Hit: Meineke Moves To TX

Meineke Car Care Centers, which title sponsored a bowl game in Charlotte last year, will be the new title sponsor for the 2011 Texas Bowl in Houston. Meanwhile, Belk Department Stores is the new title sponsor of the former Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte. Confused yet?

Meineke had its sponsorship of the Charlotte bowl game "cancelled" last April when an agreement between the brand and the bowl's organizing committee could not be reached. All of this apparently came as a surprise to Chairman & CEO Ken Walker.

“There was no warning that this was even being considered especially since we just renewed for two more years this past summer,” Walker said at the time in a written statement.

Enter the Texas Bowl. Chron.com reports the car car brand's new sponsorship will be a three-year deal.

“We are proud to have a company which began in Houston return and become the title sponsor of the new Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas,” said Clint Overby, ESPN Senior Director of Events. “The strong brand presence of Meineke combined with the football history in Texas makes this a natural partnership.”

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Meineke Car Care Centers has grown to over 950 locally owned and operated franchised service centers in the United States, Canada, Mexico, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and China.

“For the past six years the Meineke brand has benefitted tremendously from its sponsorship of a College Football Bowl,” said Ken Walker, Chairman and CEO, “and we are delighted to continue this tradition by returning to our roots in Houston, Texas”. “It excites our Franchisees and it heightens Meineke’s awareness among the passionate and loyal fans of College Football across the country.”

The event, which is owned and operated by ERT, is managed locally by Lone Star Sports & Entertainment.

“Securing a title sponsorship with Meineke Car Care is a testament to how far the bowl has come in 5 short years,” said Texas Bowl Executive Director Heather Houston. “With a powerful brand like Meineke behind the game, the bowl will continue to make big strides in the collegiate bowl world and will help ensure the long-term viability for the bowl game for Houston.”