SPECIAL TO THE FLORIDA COURIER
ORLANDO – Florida Blue has reached an agreement with the Florida Classic Consortium to extend its title sponsorship of the Florida Blue Florida Classic, Bethune-Cookman University President Dr. E. LaBrent Chrite and Florida A&M University President Dr. Larry Robinson announced Wednesday.
The deal, which also includes continued title sponsorship of the Florida Blue Florida Classic Kickoff Luncheon and the Florida Blue Battle of the Bands, takes effect immediately and runs through 2022.
This year’s Florida Blue Florida Classic, scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 23, will mark the 40th official “Classic” and the ninth to be played under the Florida Blue partnership.
“The Florida Blue Florida Classic truly is an annual family reunion — a place where football, music and culture collide for one unforgettable weekend each fall,” Robinson said.
“Florida Blue’s focus on families makes them the perfect title sponsor for this extraordinary series of events, and it’s an honor to continue to work alongside such an enthusiastic and impactful partner.”
STAYING IN ORLANDO
Earlier this year, the Florida Classic Consortium also agreed to a deal with Florida Citrus Sports that will keep the Florida Blue Florida Classic in Orlando through at least 2022.
“Florida Blue and Florida Citrus Sports have been invaluable allies for the Consortium and our respective universities, and we are blessed to have such strong bonds with both organizations,” Chrite said. “We are excited to celebrate the 40th Classic this November, and look forward to building on our collective success over the duration of these agreements and beyond.”
“The Florida Blue Florida Classic is an incredibly important event for to the Central Florida community, and we’re thrilled to be able to extend these partnerships,” Florida Citrus Sports CEO Steve Hogan added.
“We look forward to continuing our work with Florida Blue and the Consortium to ensure that the Florida Blue Florida Classic remains an Orlando fixture for future generations to enjoy.”
1.3 MILLION-PLUS ATTENDEES
One of the nation’s premier HBCU football rivalries, the Florida Blue Florida Classic has been an Orlando mainstay since the game relocated from Tampa in 1997.
During that time, more than 1.3 million fans have attended the Florida Blue Florida Classic at Camping World Stadium.
Overall, the Classic has averaged nearly 60,000 annual spectators since it made Orlando its permanent home — a 47.2 percent increase over average attendance in Tampa — with each game generating an estimated economic impact of $28 million on the Central Florida region.
Additionally, revenues from the game and its ancillary events are invested in scholarships and other academic opportunities at both participating universities and in the West Lakes communities surrounding Camping World Stadium.
“At Florida Blue, we always seek to align ourselves with partners who share our values and our passion for positively impacting the communities we call home,” said Tony Jenkins, Central Florida Market President for Florida Blue.
“Florida Citrus Sports and the Florida Classic Consortium have become family to us since we first joined forces in 2011, and we look forward to continuing to grow together in the years to come.”