Meineke Bowl to become Belk Bowl

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- North Carolina's bowl game is getting its third name in a decade.

The Meineke Car Care Bowl will be renamed the Belk Bowl beginning next season, officials announced Tuesday. The new sponsorship deal with the Charlotte-based department store company runs through the 2013 game.

Financial terms weren't disclosed, but the deal will allow the bowl to help cover an increase in per-team payout from $1.3 million to about $1.8 million after moving up in the Atlantic Coast Conference selection order this year. The game features teams from the ACC and Big East.

The private, family-owned Belk, Inc., has 305 stores in 16 states in the South.

"The Belk Bowl provides a great opportunity to extend our brand exposure to millions of ACC and Big East college football fans across our entire market area and beyond," CEO Tim Belk said.

The game at Bank of America Stadium started in 2002 at the Continental Tire Bowl. Driven Brands, Inc. -- parent company of Meineke Car Care Centers -- became the sponsor in 2005 and has paid about $1 million a year.

Bowl officials opted out of the final year of the contract this spring after being unable to strike a more lucrative agreement. The Dec. 31 game between Clemson and South Florida will be the final one labeled the Meineke Bowl before Belk's three-year deal begins in 2011.

"Meineke Car Care Centers will continue to support the bowl as one of our sponsors going forward," bowl director Will Webb said. "We are very excited to continue the bowl game in 2011 and beyond with Belk as our partner."