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Blue-Gray Games Loses Sponsor

January 17, 2001

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) _ The Blue-Gray football game lost its sponsor after 14 years, one of the longest sponsorship arrangements in the bowl business.

The Christmas Day game was sponsored by Kelly Tires, whose parent company is Goodyear.

Blue-Gray executive director Charles Jones said Tuesday he hopes to have a new sponsor by April 1 for the game, which features college seniors and has been played 64 times.

``Corporate America has been consolidating and divesting, and a lot of people have been in this situation,″ he said.

Jones would not disclose how much Kelly Tires paid as a sponsor. The game, which also raises revenue through its TV contract and ticket sales, provided about $200,000 to Montgomery Lions Club charities.

The Blue-Gray game got Kelly Tires as its first major corporate sponsor and ABC as its TV network in 1986. The game usually draws about 20,000 fans.

ABC’s contract runs through 2002, with options through 2005, Jones said.

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