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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Pilot Flying J will be the title sponsor of the Battle at Bristol, an iconic college football game taking place Sept. 10 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
According to Pilot Flying J, North America’s largest travel center operator, the sponsorship is an opportunity to position it as a destination of choice in the travel center industry.
The game will pit the Tennessee Volunteers vs. the Virginia Tech Hokies. With a projected attendance of 150,000, the game is expected to break the all-time attendance record for a college football game, which currently stands at 115,109.
“We likely wouldn’t be sitting her today if I had not been given the chance to play college football for the Tennessee Volunteers,” said Jim Haslam II, founder and chairman of Pilot Flying J. "The experience had a significant impact on my life, teaching me valuable life lessons that provided me with the foundation to be a successful businessman.
"We could not be more excited as a company to be part of college football history next September," he continued. "Throughout the year, we will seek opportunities to engage our Pilot Flying J team members and customers to join in and celebrate this tremendous partnership.”
The Pilot Flying J Battle at Bristol will bring together the neighboring states of Virginia and Tennessee that have deep and storied roots for the company. The first Pilot filling station opened in Gate City, Va., in 1958, a mere 30 miles from Bristol Motor Speedway. Located in Northeast Tennessee near the Virginia state line, the venue is a concrete oval race track with a 40-foot-wide racing surface.
This sponsorship will complement Pilot Flying J's current sponsorship of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Michael Annett's No. 46 car.
The title sponsorship will allow Pilot Flying J the opportunity to engage with fans at the racetrack — via display, sampling and merchandising opportunities — throughout the 2016 NASCAR season, as well as during the Pilot Flying J Battle at Bristol itself. Travel centers and plazas throughout the Pilot Flying J network will also feature unique in-store retail promotions and displays leveraging Battle at Bristol imagery and assets, allowing further customer interaction.
Knoxville-based Pilot Flying J has 650 retail locations throughout North America.