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DALLAS (Jan. 3, 2017) — What better way to boost exposure for a college bowl game than a 7-foot tall bucking bronco sculpture made entirely from tires?
Goodyear, sponsor of the annual Cotton Bowl Classic at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, commissioned tire artist Blake McFarland to handcraft one-of-a-kind sculptures of the teams' mascots — the Western Michigan University Bronco and University of Wisconsin's Bucky Badger.
Wisconsin won the game 24-16 in a game broadcast live on ESPN.
Mr. McFarland — a former Major League baseball pitcher turned sculptor — used 800 pounds of tire treads and other parts stripped from 500 tires donated by Goodyear for the sculptures. It took Mr. McFarland and his assistants 300 man-hours to complete the works of art, which will be donated to the schools.
"Creating these unique sculptures — made entirely of tires — is an authentic extension of Goodyear's pride for our role in college football, and the perfect way to congratulate these great teams and build excitement for the game," said Seth Klugherz, Goodyear's director of North America marketing.
"Goodyear is deeply invested in college football and in enhancing the bowl game experience for fans, as evidenced by the brand's out-of-the-box thinking on how to honor the University of Wisconsin and Western Michigan University with tire art that will be a highlight of this week's celebratory events," said Michael Konradi, Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic chief marketing officer.
This is the second year that Goodyear has sponsored the Cotton Bowl, which has been held since 1937. The tire maker has a "multi-year" sponsorship deal with ESPN Inc. and the Cotton Bowl Athletic Association.
(Blake McFarland, a former Major League Baseball pitcher, was commissioned to create this sculpture of Wisconsin mascot Bucky Badger out of tires for the 2017 Goodyear Cotton Bowl.)