College football is about to be served a bowl of mayonnaise. Or something like that.
On Thursday, the Charlotte Sports Foundation and Duke's Mayonnaise announced a multiyear partnership for an early-season college football game and postseason bowl game. Duke's takes over as the title sponsor for the bowl game that had previously been known as the Belk Bowl since 2011.
"Of course they are a national brand but their core is in the mid-South and Southeast," Danny Morrison, executive director of the Charlotte Sports Foundation, told CBS Sports. "Part of the partnership would not only reinforce that core 11 states plus D.C. area, but also grow the brand throughout the country. And this creates tremendous brand recognition."
The early-season game will be known as the Duke's Mayo Classic, and the first incarnation will feature Wake Forest and Notre Dame on Saturday, Sept. 26 at Bank of America Stadium.
The Duke's Mayo Bowl will be held during bowl season between an ACC team and Big Ten team with the SEC rotating with the Big Ten every other year.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but any sort of sports-and-sponsor partnership in COVID-19 times is significant. Morrison said the search for a new title sponsor began in earnest at the start of 2020 and that as many as five partners were considered before agreeing with Duke's, which was founded more than 100 years ago in Greenville, South Carolina.
"It comes at a time when tourism and hospitality industries are hurting and the economic impact that these games bring to Charlotte is dramatic," he said. "These two games, over the last three years, account for about $145 million of economic impact to the city of Charlotte."
And yes, everywhere is aware of the potential for jokes.
"We want to have fun with it," Morrison said. "If you think about it, the three Fs play very well together: football, food and fun. We do want to have fun with the partnership."