The New Mexico Bowl (officially known since 2011 as the Gildan New Mexico Bowl for sponsorship reasons) is an NCAA-sanctioned post-season college footballbowl game that has been played annually since 2006 at University Stadium on the campus of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Since its founding, the bowl has been typically scheduled before Christmas as one of the first of the season. In 2011, clothing manufacturer Gildan became the first title sponsor for the game.
Beginning with the 2014 game, the New Mexico Bowl features a team from the Mountain West Conference and a team from Conference USA, provided both conferences have enough bowl eligible teams. If one or both conferences does not, the bowl selection committee chooses an at-large team from another conference. In August of 2013, it was announced that Conference USA had signed an agreement to send a regional team to participate in the game for six seasons beginning in 2014 replacing the Pacific-12 Conference. From 2006 to 2010, a team from the Mountain West played a team from the Western Athletic Conference.
ESPN, whose ESPN Regional Television division (also known as ESPN Plus) supervises the bowl activities as one of the 11 bowl games they run, is the television home for the game. The game is the only annually nationally televised sporting event in the state of New Mexico. The 2006 contest was the first bowl game played in New Mexico, seeing the San Jose State Spartans defeat the New Mexico Lobos20-12. The 2012 game was the highest-scoring and closest New Mexico Bowl of all-time and ended with two Arizona touchdowns in the final 42 seconds of play.
The New Mexico Bowl trophy is a 20-inch piece of Zia Pueblo pottery, painted with Pueblo symbols, the New Mexico Bowl logo, football players, and the logos of the competing teams. The Zia symbol, a Zia Pueblo symbol that is used in the state flag, is incorporated into the bowl game logo. The most valuable player trophies are crafted from traditional leather shields.
The New Mexico Bowl stays active in the offseason among the nation and the local community. The bowl co-sponsors the Presbyterian Ear Institutes' Run To Break The Silence, a 5K, 10K and 20K fun run at Sandia Resort and Casino. They also team with NCAA Football to put on a free clinic for area youth coached by both New Mexico and New Mexico State coaches.