DALLAS — Goodyear has commissioned tire artist Blake McFarland for the second year running to create larger-than-life tire sculptures for the teams participating in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic.
The sculptures are meant to draw attention to the game, which takes place Dec. 29 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, featuring Ohio State University against the University of Southern California.
This year's statues — OSU's Brutus Buckeye and USC's Tommy Trojan — stand more than six feet tall and weigh between 200 and 300 pounds, Goodyear said.
Mr. McFarland — a former Major League baseball pitcher turned sculptor — invested more than 375 hours in the sculptures and used more than 400 Goodyear tires.
"We received a tremendous response from college football fans last year when we introduced the Wisconsin Badger and the Western Michigan Bronco and we are pleased to again celebrate college football in a way that only Goodyear can," said Seth Klugherz, Goodyear's director of North America marketing.
The new tire sculptures were unveiled Dec. 27 and will serve as a centerpiece of the festivities leading up to the game.
After the game, the sculptures will be donated to the participating schools and will be installed on their campuses, the tire maker said.
The Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic will kick-off at 8:30 p.m. EST and will be televised on ESPN.
The tire maker, the game's title sponsor since 2014, renewed sponsorship deal in 2016 with ESPN Inc. and the Cotton Bowl Athletic Association for an undisclosed number of years.
The parties have not disclosed the value of the sponsorship. Research by multiple independent parties estimates the value of a "Big 6" bowl game sponsorship at upward of $25 million.
The 2018 Cotton Bowl will host a College Football Playoff Semifinal game.