Bell Helicopter renews title sponsorship of Armed Forces Bowl

FORT WORTH, Texas (May 11, 2012) - Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. Company, has renewed its option to continue as the title sponsor of the Armed Forces Bowl for two more years. The continuation of the contract was announced yesterday evening by Pete Riley, executive vice president of integrated operations at Bell Helicopter, and Brant Ringler, the game’s executive director, at the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl 10th Anniversary Kickoff Celebration. The event was held at Amon G. Carter Stadium, the home of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, and featured more than 200 guests including Fort Worth city officials, the bowl’s sponsors, volunteers and committee members.

Owned and operated by ESPN, the Armed Forces Bowl initially signed Bell Helicopter as the game's title partner in August 2006. The initial agreement was for two years, with Bell Helicopter picking up a two-year option in December 2007 to be title partner for the game through the 2009 postseason. Bell Helicopter renewed its Armed Forces Bowl title agreement in September 2009 to continue as the title sponsor through the 2011 game and has now enacted a two-year option for the 2012 and 2013 contests.

“Bell Helicopter is proud to continue our sponsorship of the Armed Forces Bowl,” said John Garrison, president and CEO of Bell Helicopter. “The event’s emphasis on providing well-deserved recognition for our men and women in uniform and honoring their service to this nation makes us proud to be associated with this bowl.”

Bell Helicopter is an industry-leading producer of commercial and military, manned and unmanned vertical-lift aircraft and the pioneer of the revolutionary tiltrotor aircraft. Recognized for world-class customer service, innovation and superior quality, Bell’s global workforce serves customers flying Bell aircraft in more than 120 countries.

“The leadership at Bell Helicopter is on a mission to make it a priority for all our armed forces and their families to be properly recognized for their service to our country,” said Ringler. Bell’s renewal allows the Armed Forces Bowl to continue the growth of the game as we begin the celebration of our 10th anniversary.

With the contract extension, Bell Helicopter will serve as title sponsor of the Armed Forces Bowl for a 7th and 8th year. The longevity as title sponsor is now amongst the top 10 of tenured title sponsors across the NCAA’s 35 bowl games. 

Since Bell Helicopter’s initial sponsorship of the bowl in 2006, a service academy team has appeared in four of the postseason Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowls. The bowl currently holds agreements with both Navy (2013 and 2016) and Army (2014 and 2017) to participate in future games in Fort Worth, if bowl eligible.

The 10th edition of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl will be played Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012 at TCU’s Amon G. Carter Stadium with a 10:45 a.m. (CST) kickoff. The game will be aired on ESPN and ESPN Radio. 

During Bell Helicopter’s sponsorship, the bowl game has been played at two sites in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex with the game averaging nearly 40,000 fans over the six year duration. With the renovation of Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl was moved to Gerald J. Ford Stadium for the 2010 and 2011 games, but will be returning to its home stadium at TCU for the 2012 game.

Owned and operated by ESPN Regional Television (ERT), the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl has featured a military theme since 2006. Patriotic overtones recognizing all five branches of the military are prevalent throughout the game. Past Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowls have included fan-fest areas showcasing military hardware; flyovers; demonstrations by several of the military's top skydiving teams; the awarding of custom homes to wounded warriors; on-field induction ceremonies; military bands and honor guards; and the awarding of the annual "Great American Patriot Award" (GAPA) presented by Armed Forces Insurance. For additional information about the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, please visit ArmedForcesBowl.com, Facebook.com/ArmedForcesBowl or Twitter.com/ArmedForcesBowl.

Ticket information for the 2012 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl will be released in the coming months and can be obtained at ArmedForcesBowl.com. Military veterans and active-duty personnel receive free admittance via the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl corporate military ticket underwriting program. 

Bell Helicopter-Textron
Bell Helicopter-Textron is an American manufacturer of commercial and military helicopters and tiltrotor aircraft with its headquarters in Fort Worth. Bell Helicopter provides the United States Armed Forces with the world’s best military helicopters, including the V-22 Osprey, the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior, the AH-1Z Viper and UH-1Y Venom helicopters. A sister company, Textron Systems, produces the new M1117 Armored Security Vehicle, which is designed for speed and for deflecting rocket-propelled grenades and land mines.