Report: Citi out as Rose Bowl sponsor

Updated: June 21, 2010, 1:44 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Citigroup Inc. has decided not to renew its sponsorship of the Rose Bowl, Sports Business Journal reported on Monday.

Citi, which has sponsored the nation's oldest bowl game for the past seven years, made the decision largely based on flexibility and price, sources said, according to the report.

According to the report, Citi balked at the season-long college football sponsorship that is being asked of all BCS sponsors, saying that was more ad inventory than it wanted.

Sources said AT&T, which in 1999 became the Rose Bowl's first presenting sponsor, is considering resuming its sponsorship of the game, according to the report.

ESPN is responsible for lining up title sponsors for the BCS bowls as part of its contract to broadcast the games, which runs through January 2014.

An ESPN spokesman declined comment on the report Monday.

The Rose Bowl is the second Bowl Championship Series game to lose a longtime sponsor this year. FedEx withdrew as presenting sponsor of the Orange Bowl in May, ending a 21-year run.

At the time, Sports Business Journal reported that FedEx informed ESPN it was bowing out because the company didn't want a larger season-long sponsorship platform.

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