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Barstool Sports to sponsor Arizona Bowl

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 29 Arizona Bowl - Utah St v New Mexico St Photo by Jacob Snow/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Tucson’s bowl game has been mostly an afterthought on the college football bowl schedule since being resurrected in 2015. That’s about to change significantly thanks to its new, albeit controversial sponsor.

The Arizona Bowl will now be known as the Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl, as the bro-centric digital media company has signed a deal to put its name on the event that’s held at Arizona Stadium. The 2021 edition, pitting teams from the Mid-American and Mountain West conferences, is set for Dec. 31.

Originally scheduled to air on CBS, the Barstool Arizona Bowl will now be broadcast through Barstool Sports’ Web site, app and social media channels.

Barstool, for those not familiar, is a site that covers sports and other pop culture topics but has also drawn criticism for objectifying women. Among the tabs at the top of its home page is one that, when clicked, brings up a list of pictures of the “Barstool Smokeshow of the Day.”

Founded by Dave Portnoy in 2003 as a gambling and fantasy sports newsletter, Barstool is now mostly owned by media/technology investment firm The Chernin Group and casino/racetrack operator Penn National Gaming, with which Barstool has partnered for a sports betting app that’s available in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and soon Arizona.

Last week Barstool announced a sportsbook partnership with Phoenix Raceway.

Arizona has approved sports betting to begin on Sept. 9.