SBD/Issue 161/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

FedEx To Focus On Other Sports Deals After Dropping Orange Bowl

FedEx Dropping Title Sponsorship Of Orange
Bowl To Focus On Other Sports Partnerships

FedEx Dir of Sponsorship Marketing Kevin Demsky yesterday said that the company dropped its title sponsorship of the Orange Bowl because it "decided it was time to focus on its other sports marketing partnerships," according to Sarah Talalay of the South Florida SUN-SENTINEL. Demsky said, "Obviously it was a very difficult decision, one we labored over long and hard. We made the decision it was probably best for us to begin focusing on some of our other investments." The company currently title sponsors the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup and has relationships with the NFL, NBA and NASCAR's Joe Gibbs Racing. Demsky said that the decision to drop out as the bowl game's title sponsor "was made earlier this year and the company is not sure if it will continue as a more limited sponsor of the Orange Bowl." He said that it had "nothing to do with the matchups in recent Orange Bowl games, which have been criticized for their lack of luster, when the Orange Bowl isn't hosting the national championship." Demsky: "We don't really get too involved in game matchups, that's something that has to be worked out by the BCS and the bowl committees. Our focus has always been creating marketing programs around us that promote the Orange Bowl." Orange Bowl Committee VP/Communications & Community Relations Larry Wahl said, "We're confident [ESPN] will secure a name sponsor that's beneficial to all of us" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 5/4). In Miami, Jackson & Degnan cite a source as saying that FedEx "valued its relationship with the Orange Bowl and the decision was 'all about money.'" ESPN has the rights to sell sponsorship and advertising for BCS games and the source said that ESPN "paid 'a very large amount of money' for those rights, and wanted a 'huge increase' from FedEx -- an increase FedEx could not justify" (MIAMI HERALD, 5/4).

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