Cactus Bowl Has New Name, New Sponsor

Fiesta Bowl Organization

With college football Bowl Season coming soon, Guaranteed Rate has joined with the Fiesta Bowl Organization to become title sponsor of the newly-named Guaranteed Rate Bowl. Formerly known as the Cactus Bowl, this is the only postseason matchup between members of the Big Ten and Big 12 Conferences.

Guaranteed Rate, one of the largest retail mortgage lenders in the United States, will be the game’s exclusive financial partner, including mortgages, home loans and home buying categories.

“College football is such a positive force within sports,” said Guaranteed Rate President and CEO Victor Ciardelli. “We love the competition, respect the hard work and admire the sportsmanship. Every student athlete’s goal is to end their season with a bowl game win, and that’s a huge part of why we’re thrilled to bring the Guaranteed Rate Bowl to ESPN.”

In addition to naming rights, Guaranteed Rate’s fully-integrated partnership includes digital and social media, content, in-stadium exposure, on-site activation at the game and television advertisements in the exclusive live broadcast window on ESPN and ESPN Radio.

“Bowl Season is an incredible time of the year for student-athletes, university supporters and local communities to celebrate the college football season,” said Guaranteed Rate Bowl and Fiesta Bowl Organization Executive Director Mike Nealy. “We look forward to joining Guaranteed Rate to showcase its name and increase its profile with millions of fans at the best part of the year – college football Bowl Season.”

Two of college football’s most successful conferences, the Big Ten and Big 12 faced off in the Bowl eight times from 2006-13. The Guaranteed Rate Bowl’s three most-attended games featured Big Ten/Big 12 pairings, including the 2011 contest when Iowa and Oklahoma played before a Bowl-record 54,247 fans.

The Guaranteed Rate Bowl is unique as a football game played in an MLB ballpark, held in downtown Phoenix at Chase Field.

“We’re excited to add one of the fastest-growing mortgage companies, and one that loves sports, into our family,” said Patrick Barkley, Chairman of the Fiesta Bowl Organization Board of Directors. “Guaranteed Rate is innovative and thinks big, which enhances our efforts as a leader in hospitality, community impact and incredible events.”

Fast Facts about the Guaranteed Rate Bowl:

  • 2020 will be the 32nd annual game in Bowl history
  • Guaranteed Rate Bowl is the only bowl game between the Big Ten and Big 12 Conferences
  • These conferences faced each other for eight years in game history from 2006-13
  • The Big 12 won six of the eight matchups between the conferences from 2006-13
  • Big Ten and Big 12 haven’t played in a non-CFP bowl game since this game in 2013
  • The Big 12 Conference has 17 appearances in the game’s 30-year history (14-3 record), more than any other conference
  • 9 of the 10 schools in the Big 12 have played in the game (Texas) and seven schools have made multiple appearances
  • The Big Ten is third with 10 appearances, going 4-6 in previous editions of the Guaranteed Rate Bowl
  • 7 of the 14 teams in the Big Ten have played in the game, led by Minnesota’s three appearances
  • MLB ballpark turns into football field (WATCH FIELD TRANSITION)
  • The 70,000+ square feet of game turf is donated to a community in need for a playing field
  • Notable players to take the field in the game’s 31-year history include: Larry Fitzgerald, Aaron Rodgers, Le’Veon Bell, Drew Bledsoe, Ron Dayne

Since 1971, the Fiesta Bowl is a world-class community organization that executes innovative experiences, drives economic growth and champions charitable causes, inspiring pride in all Arizonans during and outside of college football bowl season. As a nonprofit organization, it is driven by its vision for the importance of community outreach and service. Through the PlayStation® Fiesta Bowl, Guaranteed Rate Bowl and its year-round events, such as the Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl Parade, corporate partnerships and numerous community events throughout the year, the organization provides charitable giving to enhance Arizona nonprofit organizations that serve communities through youth, sports and education.

The Guaranteed Rate Companies, which includes Guaranteed Rate Inc., Guaranteed Rate Affinity, LLC, and Proper Rate, LLC, has more than 8,000 employees in over 700 offices across the U.S. Headquartered in Chicago, Guaranteed Rate Inc. is one of the largest retail mortgage lenders in the United States funding $37 billion in 2019.  Founded in 2000 and licensed in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., Guaranteed Rate Companies has helped homeowners nationwide with home purchase loans and refinances. The company has established itself as an industry leader by introducing innovative technology, offering low rates and delivering unparalleled customer service. 2017 marked the launch of Guaranteed Rate Affinity, LLC, a mortgage origination joint venture between Guaranteed Rate, Inc. and Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY), a global leader in residential real estate franchising and brokerage. In 2020, the company launched Proper Rate, LLC, a mortgage origination joint venture between Guaranteed Rate and @properties, one of the nation’s largest residential brokerage firms. Collectively, the companies have earned honors and awards including: “Top Lender for Online Service” for 2018 by U.S. News & World Report; No. 3 ranking in Scotsman Guide’s Top Retail Mortgage Lenders 2018; Chicago Tribune’s Top Workplaces list for seven consecutive years; and Best Online Lender and Best Lender for FHA Streamline Refinance by NerdWallet in 2019. Visit for more information.

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