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Gator Bowl renamed TaxSlayer Bowl

Posted: April 9, 2014 - 12:14am

The TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl will go by a different name beginning in 2015.

Evans-based TaxSlayer.com and Gator Bowl Sports reached a six-year deal Thurs­day that will make the online tax preparation company, which serves as the bowl’s title sponsor, the sole headlining name for the college football game, according to a news release.

It will now be called the TaxSlayer Bowl.

“TaxSlayer.com recognizes the history of the bowl’s rich 70-year tradition,” TaxSlayer.com President and CEO Jimmy Rhodes said in the release. “It is a legacy in college football and we, at TaxSlayer.com, are extremely proud to be a part of such a dedicated and professional bowl family and look forward to building on its historic foundation.”

TaxSlayer.com is an offshoot of Rhodes Financial Services and Rhodes-Murphy, a local tax preparation company formed in 1965.

The firm moved to its five-story headquarters in Marshall Square in 2012.

TaxSlayer.com became the title sponsor for the Gator Bowl in 2011. Company executives now pay for employees to attend the bowl in Jack­son­ville, Fla., every year.

In 2012, the company extended a multiyear sponsorship agreement with JR Mo­torsports, the NASCAR team owned by Dale Earn­hardt Jr., who surprised fans two years ago with a meet-and-greet at Evans Towne Cen­ter Park through his association with the company.

Darcel Walker, the director of growth for TaxSlayer.com, said having the company’s name affiliated with the bowl builds the city’s recognition and could help “make Augusta known for something besides the Masters.”

The bowl game, which next will be played Jan. 2, will air on ESPN and feature a team from the Southeastern Con­ference against an opponent from the Big Ten or the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The Florida Times-Union reported Thursday that the goal of the agreement was to improve the game’s match-ups and visibility and ultimately promote it to a standalone event on ESPN that airs in a prime-time spot. Terms
of the extension were not released, the newspaper said.

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