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High School Football Event Pairing State Champions in Post Season Play to Be Broadcast Live on ESPNU, Saturday Dec. 23

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  • GEICO State Champions Bowl Series Moves to Grand Canyon University Stadium in Phoenix, Ariz.

GEICO returns for the second year as title sponsor of the State Champions Bowl Series. For the third time since 2014, this unique event will allow high school football champions from different states to play against each other in post-season bowl games to be televised live on ESPNU. The games will also be available via the ESPN App. Participating teams will play in a single game matchup, with a total of two games to take place at GCU Stadium at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Ariz. on Saturday, Dec. 23. Games will kick off at 6:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. ET. ESPN play-by-play commentator Kevin Brown and analyst Craig Haubert will call both games.

With its completion in August of 2016, GCU Stadium is home for the Grand Canyon men’s and women’s soccer programs, and is considered one of the country’s preeminent collegiate soccer stadiums. The GEICO State Champions Bowl Series will mark the first time the venue has hosted a football event. The state-of-the-art facility features seating capacity for more than 6,000 spectators and includes an academic wing underneath the stadium. At 41,852-square-feet, the stadium provides 3,000 shaded individual chairback seats and is located in the heart of GCU’s campus. The all-natural turf is surround by a 10-foot grass berm on three sides to house an additional 3,000 spectators, and is an ideal setting for this “Bowl Game” experience.

Currently the AIA (Arizona), FHSAA (Florida), GHSA (Georgia), MIAA (Maryland), UHSAA (Utah) and WIAA (Washington) have approved their member schools to participate in the GEICO State Champions Bowl Series. Participating teams and match-ups will be announced in mid-December.

“The GEICO State Champions Bowl series provides ESPNU another avenue to present the next generation of college athletes on a national stage,” said Dan Margulis, ESPN Senior Director College and High School Sports Programming. “This event, created by Paragon Marketing Group, will cap what has been an exciting football season.”  Paragon Marketing Group worked with GEICO to create this fan-friendly event that rewards State Champions for their excellence and celebrates high school football on a national level. “We thank the state associations for allowing their champions to participate, and look to expand the event in future years,” said Rashid Ghazi, Partner, Paragon Marketing Group.

“Grand Canyon University is thrilled to host the GEICO State Champions Bowl Series at GCU Stadium,” GCU Vice President of Athletics Mike Vaught said. “This event features some of the top high school football talent in the country for what will be incredible competition for the teams, fans, and those watching at home on ESPN. We have state-of-the-art facilities here at GCU, a great relationship with ESPN, and are excited to combine the two together for this marquee event.”

The GEICO State Champions Bowl Series took place previously in 2014 at Florida Atlantic University Stadium in Boca Raton, and in 2016 at Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas.

Past GEICO State Champions Bowl Series Results:

2014 (FAU):

  • Trinity Christian (FL) def. Eastside Catholic (WA) 35-21
  • Miami Central (FL) def. Bothell (WA) 37-27
  • Booker T. Washington (FL) def. Bingham (UT) 34-28

2016 (Ford Center at The Star):

  • Chandler (AZ) def. Valdosta (GA) 44-24
  • Thomas Aquinas (FL) def. Bingham (UT) 33-25

Tickets and additional information are available at www.geicobowlseries.com.

 

About GEICO
GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company) is a member of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies and is the second-largest private passenger auto insurance company in the United States. GEICO, which was founded in 1936, provides millions of auto insurance quotes to U.S. drivers annually. The company is pleased to serve more than 16 million private passenger customers, insuring more than 27 million vehicles (auto & cycle).

Using GEICO’s online service center, policyholders can purchase policies, make policy changes, report claims and print insurance ID cards. Policyholders can also connect to GEICO through GEICO Mobile, reach a representative over the phone or visit a GEICO local agent.

GEICO also provides insurance quotes on motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), boats, travel trailers and motorhomes (RVs). Coverage for life, homes and apartments is written by non-affiliated insurance companies and is secured through the GEICO Insurance Agency, Inc. Commercial auto insurance and personal umbrella protection are also available.

For more information, go to www.geico.com.

About Grand Canyon University Athletics
Grand Canyon University was founded in 1949 and is Arizona’s premier private Christian university. GCU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and offers more than 220 academic programs, emphases and certificates for both traditional undergraduate students and working professionals. The university aims to use intercollegiate sport as a platform in developing good Christian role models and in embodying the highest standards of excellence in the overall development of student-athletes. GCU Athletics prepares men and women to be student-athletes distinguished by integrity, academic and athletic excellence, and Christian conduct. For more information, visit GCULopes.com.

About Paragon Marketing Group
Paragon Marketing Group is a corporate consulting agency specializing in sports, entertainment and cause related sponsorships. Paragon owns and operates the GEICO State Champions Bowl Series and has partnered with ESPN over the past 14 years to deliver over 500 live high school football and basketball telecasts featuring many of the top teams and players in the nation. Paragon partners with ESPN on the following live properties:

  • GEICO ESPN High School Football Kickoff & Showcase
  • DICK’S Sporting Goods High School Nationals Basketball Tournament
  • GEICO High School Lacrosse Nationals

About ESPN
ESPN, Inc., is the world’s leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company featuring a portfolio of more than 50 multimedia sports assets. The company is comprised of eight U.S. 24-hour television networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPNU, ESPN Classic, ESPN Deportes, Longhorn Network and the SEC Network) and five HD simulcast services (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS and ESPN Deportes). Other businesses include ESPN Events, ESPN International (24 networks, syndication, radio, digital), ESPN Radio (broadcast, satellite, digital, a growing category led by ScoreCenter), digital services (ESPN.com plus a variety of sport-, college-, and market-specific sites; multi-screen WatchESPN and ESPN3; plus mobile TV and video, apps, alerts and messaging), ESPN The Magazine, consumer products and espnW. Based in Bristol, Conn., ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., which is an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. Hearst holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN.

ESPN media contact:

Kimberly Elchlepp at [email protected] or 860-424-2923; @kimelchlepp

For further information on the GEICO State Champions Bowl Series and for media credential requests please contact: [email protected]