Jackson State University Punches Ticket to ESPN Events’ Cricket Celebration Bowl for the First Time in School History

ATLANTA, GA – The second invitation to ESPN Events’ sixth annual Cricket Celebration Bowl – to be played Saturday, Dec. 18 at noon ET at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta and aired live on ABC – has been extended to the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) college football champion Jackson State University. The Tigers (11-1, 8-0 SWAC) defeated the Prairie View A&M Panthers on Saturday, 27-10, and will play the MEAC champion South Carolina State.

Executive Director of the Cricket Celebration Bowl, John Grant, was on-site at the SWAC Championship in Jackson, Miss., to present Jackson State head coach Deon Sanders with the official invitation.

“Congratulations to SWAC champion Jackson State University for punching its ticket to the Cricket Celebration Bowl,” said Grant. “Jackson State, led by Coach Sanders, had an outstanding season. We are excited for the Tigers to join us in the championship matchup against the MEAC champion South Carolina State Bulldogs.”

Jackson State University captured the 2021 SWAC Football Championship on Saturday, Dec. 4. Photo courtesy of HCF’s Media Team.

Entering its sixth year, the Cricket Celebration Bowl has established itself as a premier bowl game, celebrating the heritage, legacy, pageantry, and tradition of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The championship-style game between MEAC and SWAC champions is televised on ABC. ESPN Events collaborates with its sponsors and the Divine Nike Greek organizations to schedule the game’s ancillary events which includes a fan experience, community service projects, and more.

Since its debut in 2015, the Celebration Bowl is the only Division 1 Football Championship Subdivision bowl game. It serves as the annual championship game between the MEAC and SWAC conferences.

The Celebration Bowl is returning in 2021 after a one-year absence due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Celebration Bowl Games (2015-present):
2015 North Carolina A&T def. Alcorn State, 41-34
2016 Grambling State def. North Carolina Central, 10-9
2017 North Carolina A&T def. Grambling State, 21-14
2018 North Carolina A&T def. Alcorn State, 24-22
2019 North Carolina A&T def. Alcorn, 64-44

Fans can purchase tickets to the Cricket Celebration Bowl online at thecelebrationbowl.com or www.ticketmaster.com, or calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000. Prices range from $15 to $175 excluding taxes and fees. A fill list of events surrounding the game are available on the event’s website.

About ESPN Events
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of 35 collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes five early-season college football games, 17 college bowl games, 12 college basketball events, annd a college softball event, which accounts for approximately 400 hours of live programming, reaching almost 64 million viewers and attracting over 800,000 attendees each year. With satellite offie in Albuquerque, Birmingham, Boca Raton, Dallas-Forth Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Montgomery and Tampa, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.

For more information, visit the official website, Facebook, Twitter or Youtube pages.

###

ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, has announced a three-year sponsorship agreement with Cricket Wireless, who will be the new title sponsor for the MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kickoff and Celebration Bowl. Both events, which are staged in Atlanta, celebrate the tradition, legacy and value of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

“We are delighted to have Cricket Wireless as the title sponsor of both our football kickoff and bowl games,” said John Grant, executive director for the MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kickoff and Celebration Bowl. “These events provide valuable diversity to the sports offering in the city of Atlanta. This relationship reflects our mutul passion for and appreciation of Historically Black Colleges and Universities and the vaulable contributions they make to our nation. We look forward to working together and building world-class events in a world-class city.”

ESPN Events’ relationship with Cricket began with the sponsorship of the 2018 Celebration Bowl. Cricket’s support of HBCUs began with an agreement with Southern University, which eventually expanded to include sponsorship of the Magic City Classic and Bayou Classic. In October 2020, Cricket and the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) announced a sponsorship agreement extension through 2023.

“At Cricket, we’re all about creating a meaningful connection with our customers and within the communities where we operate,” said Tiffany Baehman, vice president and chief marketing officer, Cricket Wireless. “Our extended relationship with ESPN allows us to continue to introduce our brand to HBCU students, alumni and fans. It also means that we can help amplify the rich culture and legacy of HBCUs, and the positive impact they have on the Black community.

The Cricket Wireless MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kickoff – an early-season matchup of HBCU football teams from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) – is played at the Georgia State’s Center Parc Credit Union Stadium. The Cricket Celebration Bowl is played each year, with the game typically opening the college bowl season, from Mercedes Benz Stadium.

Due to the current health pandemic, both events were cancelled for the 2020 season, but excepted to return in 2021. Fans can re-live and enjoy last year’s Celebration Bowl between Alcorn State and North Carolina A&T on Thursday, Dec. 10, at 8 p.m. on ESPNU. Those interesed in joining a virtual watch party can sign up here.

Information regarding the Cricket MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kickoff and Cricket Celebration Bowl can be found at www.meacswacchallenge.com and www.TheCelebrationBowl.com.

###

About Cricket Wireless
Cricket is focused on inspiring smiles, one meaningful connection at a time. Cricket offer an easy and high-quality wireless experience on their reliable nationwide network. Their affordable, straightforward service plans include monthly taxes, and don’t require an annual contract. Their customers also enjoy basic to top-brand phones at affordable prices.

Visit www.cricketwireless.com to learn more or find a store near you. Stay up-to-date with the Cricket Newsroom and connect with Cricket on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Smile. You’re on Cricket.

About ESPN Events
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a portfolio of 35 collegiate sporting events nationwide. The roster includes four early-season college football games, 17 college bowl game, 11 college basketball events, a college softball event and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 400 hours of live programming, reaches nearly 64 million viewers and attracts over 800,000 attendees each year. With satellite office in more than 10 markets across the country, ESPN Events builds relationships with conference, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.

For more information, visit the official website, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube pages.