SBD/July 13, 2012/Events and Attractions

Jacksonville Aircraft Carrier Matchup Paired With Jags Game As Sponsorship Package

Tickets for the Georgetown-Florida Navy/Marine Corps Classic men's basketball game on the deck of a U.S. Naval aircraft carrier, “coupled with a Jaguars game against the Indianapolis Colts at EverBank Field the previous night, will be sold as sponsorships, beginning Monday,” according to Carlyon & Ganguli of the FLORIDA TIMES-UNION. The city of Jacksonville “needed to find a way to sell tickets” to the Nov. 9 game, as military regulations “do not allow individual tickets to be sold on active bases.” But the sponsorships “won’t come cheap,” as they start at “$1,000 and are priced as high as $50,000.” The starting price includes “a pair of tickets to the basketball game, two to the Jaguars’ Thursday night game, and a donation of four tickets to the Jaguars game for military personnel.” Jacksonville Sports & Entertainment Exec Dir Alan Verlander said, “We talked about a million different options, we looked at a bunch of different things. We’ve worked with the Navy and the military very closely. It was just a natural tie-in with the Jaguars." UF Senior Associate AD/External Affairs Mike Hill “praised the city for making it possible for fans to attend the game.” Verlander said that it will “cost the city about $2M to "stage the event, noting the entire basketball venue must be conducted from scratch.” A fanfest and concert are “also being planned.” He estimated that the basketball venue “will seat about 8,000, with about 3,000 reserved for military.” Verlander said that NFL Network has “already asked to place cameras” at the naval base in Mayport to “offer viewers watching the Jaguars-Colts game a preview of what will unfold the following night.” He said that he expects the sponsorships "to sell quickly” (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 7/13). 

PRETTY PENNY: ESPN.com’s Eamonn Brennan wrote the price of the sponsorship package is like “a down payment on a house.” The money will “go to a good cause, of course,” but $50,000 "for a basketball game, or even a two-day ‘event,’ seems mind-boggling.” In addition, Georgetown fans “probably couldn't care less” about the Jaguars, and it is “hard to foresee many folks being willing to splash this sort of cash, students especially.” Brennan: “Much like the NFL itself, unless you've got serious cake to burn, this event may be better viewed in the comforts of one's own home” (ESPN.com, 7/12).
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