SBD/January 13, 2012/Colleges

BCS Hospitality Partner Sees Title Game Starting To Draw More Of A Corporate Crowd

PrimeSport, the BCS' hospitality partner, saw nearly 40% of its packages sold to the National Championship game before Alabama and LSU were named as the participants. PrimeSport President Sam Soni said that represents a sizable increase from past championship games the company has marketed. PrimeSport was still analyzing its sales data in the days following Alabama's 21-0 win over LSU, but Soni was confident in saying that the BCS title game has moved from an event largely for the teams' fans to more of an attraction to the corporate crowd. In the past, BCS hospitality and ticket demand largely has been driven by the participating teams in the month leading up to the game. "We saw the market for the championship game grow much earlier," said Soni, whose company entertained between 900-1,000 people in the Claiborne Club, making it the only in-stadium hospitality party. PrimeSport has the official hospitality relationship with the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl, so the company works the championship game whenever it is in New Orleans or Pasadena, but it does not have the BCS title game every season. PrimeSport also holds the designation of official hospitality partner for the NCAA, so Soni's team will return to New Orleans in late March for the Final Four. "The Final Four is a much bigger undertaking for our team," Soni said. "It's a more mature event and we sell Final Fours annually to people who want to go, regardless of the teams, but we're also seeing the BCS game grow in that direction as well." PrimeSport includes some level of hospitality with every Final Four ticket sold, while with the BCS game tickets, hotel and hospitality can be bought separately or as a package. Final Four hospitality is selling within 1% of last year's sales with pricing in the same ballpark, Soni said.
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