April 23, 2012
For the second straight year, the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl will be played on a Saturday afternoon.
The 11th San Francisco bowl game takes place Saturday, December 29 at 12:15 p.m. [PST], at the game’s longtime home, AT&T Park. The contest will match a team from the Pac-12 Conference against Navy. Each participant must achieve bowl eligibility [6+ regular season victories]. The game will be shown on a nationwide basis by ESPN or ESPN2.
The announcement was made today by Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl Executive Director and game co-founder Gary Cavalli.
“This year’s game date, which marks our fifth straight weekend appearance, is ideal for the teams, the fans and the national TV audience,” Cavalli said. “Saturday afternoon is synonymous with college football in America, and it gives us the best platform to showcase two fine teams, the city of San Francisco, and our title sponsor, Kraft Foods. It also offers visiting fans an opportunity to spend the weekend in one of the greatest cities in the world.”
Rechristened the Pac-12 in 2011, the conference has provided teams to the Bowl in five of the past six years. In that span, Pac-12 teams own a 3-2 record.
Last year, the game saw its first Big Ten-Pac-12 matchup when UCLA played Illinois. The Illini defeated the Bruins, 20-14.
Four of the past six contests have been sellouts.
With Kraft Foods, the world’s second largest food company, coming on board as title sponsor in April 2010, the game continues to escalate its upward ascent among non-BCS bowl games.
The Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl is the lone game in the 35-game bowl lineup to directly associate itself with a social cause: that of eliminating hunger in the United States.
“We continue to be thrilled with our association with a first class Bowl and organization,” said Stephen Chriss, senior director, marketing partnerships, Kraft Foods. “December 29th will be a great day for football and we look forward to showcasing Kraft Foods and many of our iconic brands on a national stage.”
For the past two years, the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl organization pledged meal donations for every ticket sold to the game – one each to Glide Memorial Church, St. Anthony’s Dining Room and the San Francisco Food Bank. In two years, game organizers donated the financial equivalent of more than 200,000 meals to its three charitable partners.
The upcoming Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl would pit Navy against the sixth selection from bowl-eligible Pac-12 schools. The Bowl has previously hosted UCLA [twice], Oregon State, California and USC.
Navy played in the 2004 contest, defeating New Mexico 34-19. That game saw the Midshipmen conduct a memorable 26-play drive that consumed nearly 15 minutes, a college football record.
The game has been a financial boon to the City of San Francisco. According to figures released by San Francisco Travel, the game and week-long events surrounding it have generated nearly $130 million in direct economic benefit to greater San Francisco.