SBD/March 31, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Frito-Lay Undecided Over Sponsorship Of Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Amid Scandal

Tostitos has been the title sponsor of the Fiesta Bowl for 16 years
Tostitos and “some other major sponsors of the Fiesta Bowl are undecided whether they will continue to support the event in the wake of the non-profit's firing” of President & CEO John Junker and “potentially illegal conduct among its employees,” according to Ryan Randazzo of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. Tostitos has been the title sponsor of the Fiesta Bowl for 16 years, but the company yesterday “would not say whether it will see a 17th year with its name on the event.” Frito-Lay North America Dir of PR Chris Kuechenmeister said, "We are pleased that the Fiesta Bowl is taking concrete action to address the findings of its report and expect it to move quickly to implement its announced reforms. We are being updated regularly by the Fiesta Bowl organization and will be evaluating the situation as it progresses." Other sponsors said that “they are sticking with the game.” The Arizona Office of Tourism “spends about $100,000 to $140,000 a year on advertising with the Fiesta Bowl, mostly to encourage fans from the visiting teams to stay in Arizona longer and benefit the tourism economy.” Arizona Office of Tourism Dir Sherry Henry said that the office “would likely continue its sponsorship regardless of the scandal because the visiting fans still represent a significant business opportunity for the state.” Henry: "To us, the Fiesta Bowl is more than any one person. It contributes to the economic vitality of the state.” Pinnacle West Capital Corp., owner of Arizona Public Service Co., has “a $97,000 annual sponsorship contract” with the Fiesta Bowl through ’14. Officials said that the company “has no plans to back out.” Pinnacle West spokesperson Jim McDonald said, "The actions of a small group of people do not detract from the community value of the institution of the Fiesta Bowl" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 3/31). Fiesta Bowl Chair Duane Woods yesterday said that the bowl committee “is being candid with BCS, Frito-Lay and other sponsors about what happened and steps being taken to improve oversight” (BIZJOURNALS.com, 3/30).
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