SBD/Issue 232/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Eyeing A Landing Spot: Gator Bowl Still Seeking Title Sponsor

 

Gator Bowl Association President Rick Catlett said that Konica Minolta, which title sponsored the game from '08-10, is "still in the mix" to sponsor it again, though the organization is "in talks with other companies," according to Kimberly Morrison of the JACKSONVILLE BUSINESS JOURNAL. Catlett "declined to comment on how the talks with potential sponsors are progressing." Catlett: "We could go all the way up until December. Obviously, we'd like to make a decision sooner than that." Morrison noted Toyota, which title sponsored the bowl for 13 years before Konica Minolta, paid $1.25M per year, and the value of the Konica Minolta deal had an estimated annual value of $1.5M. However, Catlett said if the bowl "had to go without a title sponsor this year, we could do that, no problem." Catlett: "It is not our preference, but it would be better than getting a company that is not committed to the tournament long term" (JACKSONVILLE BUSINESS JOURNAL, 8/13 issue). In Jacksonville, Chet Fussman notes the Gator Bowl said that the terms of the Jaguars' recent deal with EverBank for naming rights to the former Jacksonville Municipal Stadium "don't preclude the Gator from signing a financial institution as its title sponsor, but the bowl game's search appears to be more focused...nationally than locally." Meanwhile, the Gator Bowl this year will air on ESPN2 after being on CBS the past four years and on broadcast TV since '96. Catlett said that it is an "important switch ... because ESPN will likely play a key role in helping the game find a title sponsor" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 8/17).

MENDING FENCES: In Phoenix, Mike Sunnucks profiles Fiesta Bowl Chair Duane Woods, who said that his “focus during his one-year term” is “smoothing relationships.” That includes “re-signing Frito-Lay and other corporate sponsors to the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl in Glendale and the Insight Bowl in Tempe.” Woods also “wants to smooth over years of hostility between the bowl committee” and NFL Cardinals VP Michael Bidwell. The two organizations share Univ. of Phoenix Stadium and “have had personality and operational clashes” (PHOENIX BUSINESS JOURNAL, 8/13 issue).

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