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Life-Sized Tire Art Statues of Alabama’s “Big Al” and Cincinnati’s “Bearcat” Mascots Unveiled in Celebration

AKRON, Ohio, Dec. 29, 2021 – The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, in collaboration with the Cotton Bowl Athletic Association, today announced a multiyear agreement renewing its title sponsorship of the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic.

Host to a historic College Football Playoff Semifinal between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Cincinnati Bearcats on Dec. 31, the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic will continue to present marquee matchups annually as a member of the “New Year’s Six,” the top bowl games included in the College Football Playoff Semifinal rotation. With the agreement, the Cotton Bowl will also host a semifinal game in 2024.

“Much like the Cotton Bowl, Goodyear has long been connected to college football by enhancing the gameday experience, whether it’s through aerial coverage from the blimp or the larger-than-life tire art statues,” said Todd Macsuga, general manager, Brand Marketing, Goodyear North America. “This agreement is a continuation of our commitment to the sport and allows us to celebrate the drive it takes to compete in college football’s biggest matchups for years to come.”

Additionally, Goodyear extended its agreement with Disney Advertising Sales on behalf of ESPN to be the preferred aerial coverage provider for college football and the exclusive aerial coverage provider of the College Football Playoff Semifinals and National Championship on ESPN.  

 “Since 2014, Goodyear has been an incredible partner for our game,” said Bry Patton, Chairman of the Cotton Bowl Athletic Association. “This sponsorship extension demonstrates a history of shared values between Goodyear and the Cotton Bowl Classic, as we strive towards providing college football fans with an unforgettable experience year after year.”  

To celebrate its title sponsorship renewal and the road to greatness these teams travel on to advance to the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic, Goodyear once again created mascot statues of the participating teams, made from its tires.

This year’s tire art statues feature The University of Alabama mascot, Big Al, and University of Cincinnati’s mascot, the Bearcat. Standing nearly seven feet tall and weighing more than 200 pounds each, the artwork was constructed from over 300 Goodyear tires and 14,000 hidden staples.

For a fifth year, Goodyear commissioned the talents of artist and former minor league baseball player Blake McFarland to handcraft the unique statues, which will serve as centerpieces for many of the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic festivities leading up to the game. The artwork embodies the dedication to outstanding performance built into each Goodyear tire and is reflective of the drive both teams have shown this season.

The 86th Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic kicks off on ESPN on Friday, Dec. 31 at 2:30 p.m. CT where No. 1 Alabama will take on No. 4 Cincinnati for their chance to complete the ultimate road to greatness: playing for the 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship. Aerial coverage will be provided by Goodyear.

About The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company

Goodyear is one of the world's largest tire companies. It employs about 72,000 people and manufactures its products in 55 facilities in 23 countries around the world. Its two Innovation Centers in Akron, Ohio, and Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg, strive to develop state-of-the-art products and services that set the technology and performance standard for the industry. For more information about Goodyear and its products, go to www.goodyear.com/corporate

About the Cotton Bowl

The Cotton Bowl Athletic Association supports higher education through athletic competition.  Historically, three-fourths of every dollar generated by the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic is returned to participating schools and conferences. Since 1937, the Classic has generated more than $1 billion for participating institutions and higher education.  Each year, fans attending the Classic generate more than $30 million in direct spending for the North Texas community. For more information, visit GoodyearCottonBowl.com.

DECEMBER 29, 2021

On Wednesday, Dec. 29, Goodyear announces a multiyear agreement to renew Goodyear’s title sponsorship of the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic. With the agreement, Goodyear extends its longstanding association with college football and ensures that the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic will continue to host marquee matchups annually as a member of the "New Year's Six," the top bowl games included in the College Football Playoff Semifinal rotation. (Richard Rodriguez/AP Images for Goodyear)

To celebrate its title sponsorship renewal and the drive it takes to reach the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic, Goodyear continues its tradition of creating tire mascot statues from the participating teams. The Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic kicks off on ESPN on Dec. 31 at 2:30 p.m. CT where No. 1 Alabama will face No. 4 Cincinnati for their chance to complete the ultimate road to greatness: playing for the College Football Playoff National Championship. (Richard Rodriguez/AP Images for Goodyear)

Goodyear unveils a life-sized tire statue of The University of Alabama mascot, Big Al, for the 86th Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic and College Football Playoff Semifinal. The Big Al statue stands nearly seven feet tall, weighs 260 pounds and is made from 160 Goodyear tires. (Richard Rodriguez/AP Images for Goodyear)

Goodyear celebrates the University of Cincinnati’s road to the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic by unveiling life-sized tire art of the Bearcat mascot. The artwork – which took more than 182 hours to complete – is made from 140 Goodyear tires, approximately 7,000 staples and stands nearly seven feet tall. (Richard Rodriguez/AP Images for Goodyear)