Zaxby’s named Title Sponsor for fifth annual Heart of Dallas Bowl

DALLAS, Texas – Zaxby’s and the Heart of Dallas Bowl announced today, that the Georgia-based restaurant chain will become the new title sponsor of the collegiate post-season football game.

The Heart of Dallas Bowl is owned and operated by ESPN Regional Television (ERT), a subsidiary of ESPN, the game will be called the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl and played on December 26 at historic Cotton Bowl Stadium. The sponsorship will be for four years through the 2017, with an option to extend for a longer period.

“We are delighted to partner with an organization that is fully dedicated to supporting college football, and look forward to expanding the Zaxby’s brand across the nation with the title sponsorship of our bowl game,” said Brant Ringler, Executive Director of the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl. “It’s only fitting that the ‘Official Chicken of Sports Fanz’ will be on hand to enhance the experience of our participating teams and football fans that travel to Dallas.”

Zaxby’s is a prepared-at-order restaurant that features chicken fingers, wings, sandwiches and salads. Based in Athens, Georgia, Zaxby’s is one of the nation’s fastest-growing restaurant chains, operating more than 640 stores in 15 states.

“To reinforce our brand as the ‘Official Chicken of Sports Fanz’ and extend our reach as an emerging national concept, Zaxbys offers an Indescribably Good experience in our restaurants and on the field during the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl,” said Zach McLeroy, CEO and co-founder of Zaxby’s. “We believe the sponsorship of a national bowl will allow our loyalists as well as our new fans to connect with us on an even bigger playing field.”

In 2013 and 2014, consumers ranked Zaxby’s as the Most Craveable Fast Casual in America, per Technomic’s Consumer Brand Metrics program. QSR Magazine listed the chain as one of the 12 Best Franchise Deals in 2013, as well as a Top 30 Best Fast Food Restaurant.

In honor of the thousands of children the restaurant chain serves every year, Zaxby’s is a proud supporter of the Make-A-Wish® Program. The company operates more than 640 locations in 15 states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Virginia.

The fifth annual Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl will be aired on ESPN for the first time after playing on ESPNU the past four years. The radio broadcast will transmit nationwide through the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl Radio Network. The game will feature a team from Conference USA versus a member of the Big Ten Conference.

Last year’s contest saw the University of North Texas defeat UNLV 36-14. Mean Green quarterback Derek Thompson was named MVP. The senior won his final game, going 21 -of- 30 for 265 yards, with touchdown passes. Conference USA will be seeking its third Heart of Dallas Bowl win, as the 14-team conference will enter the 2014 Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl as the defending champions.

This year marks the 85th year of games being played at Cotton Bowl Stadium, on the historic grounds of Fair Park. The fairgrounds features 227 acres of museums, attractions, history, art and performances located in the “heart” of the ninth largest city in the United States. The Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl is one of 11 owned and operated bowl games by ESPN Events.

Others include the AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl (Houston), Birmingham Bowl (Alabama), Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl (Florida), Boca Raton Bowl (Florida), Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise), Gildan New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque), Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu), Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth), Raycom Media Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.), and the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl (Nevada).

The Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl is free to all first responders, and their families. The Complimentary tickets are available via signup at the bowls website – These tickets are made possible by generous underwriting from many North Texas businesses, and bowl corporate partners.

For more information about Zaxby’s, please visit,, or follow on Twitter @Zaxbys.

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