Duke’s Mayo to be name sponsor of former Belk Bowl game
Richmond-based C.F. Sauer Co. owns mayonnaise brand.
Duke’s Mayonnaise, owned by Richmond’s C.F. Sauer Co., will be the title sponsor of a regular-season college football game in September and a bowl game hosted in Charlotte, North Carolina, the company announced Thursday with the Charlotte Sports Foundation. Financial terms of the four-year contract were not disclosed.
The Duke’s Mayo Classic will take place Sept. 26, with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish pitted against Wake Forest University’s Demon Deacons, at Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium. The Duke’s Mayo Bowl will take place in the post season, featuring a matchup between an Atlantic Coast Conference team against the Big Ten Conference, which will alternate with the Southeastern Conference every other year.
The bowl game, which enters its 19th year this season, has gone under the name Belk Bowl since 2010, named for the Charlotte-based department store chain, which announced it would drop its sponsorship last November. The date of the game is not set yet but is traditionally held in the last days of December.
Sauer Chief Marketing Officer Tom Barbitta said Sauer, owner of the Richmond-produced eponymous spice line, as well as Duke’s, Southern Sauces and The Spice Hunter brands, has survived the coronavirus-related economic crisis because of a nationwide increase in grocery sales this spring. “The brands actually performed really well,” he said Wednesday, particularly Duke’s Mayonnaise, “the quintessential comfort food.”
Barbitta said that as a result, the company wanted to provide an economic boost to Charlotte, with an economic impact of $145 million expected between the two games. Last July, Charlotte-based private equity firm Falfurrias Capital Partners purchased Sauer, which left the Sauer family’s hands for the first time in its 133-year history.
Founded in 1917 in South Carolina, Duke’s Mayonnaise is popular in the Southeast United States and recently began being distributed more broadly, Barbitta said, so the company hopes its association with college football will help boost interest outside its home base. “You just can’t beat the spread.”