SBD/July 18, 2013/Colleges

Creation Of New CFB Game At Ford Field Could Mean End Of Little Caesars Bowl

There are sponsorship talks with several different potential partners for the new game
The Lions yesterday announced the creation of a new college football bowl game to be held at Ford Field, and team President Tom Lewand said that he would "'highly doubt' two bowl games could coexist in Detroit 'given the current landscape,'" according to Mark Snyder of the DETROIT FREE PRESS. The Little Caesars Bowl has been contested since '97, but its deal with Ford Field and the pizza chain "ends with this year’s game." Little Caesars Pizza Bowl Chair & Exec Dir Ken Hoffman yesterday noted he has had "continuing talks" with the venue and said, "I’m very optimistic that two games could be held at Ford Field.” But Hoffman also is "realistic that the Lions game always viewed itself as its own entity." He noted that Lewand’s comments "probably reflect what he expects the result to be, not necessarily the current process." Snyder reports the Big Ten accepted "only one Detroit-area presentation for a game in the new cycle, and that was the Lions’ game." Some details of the new game -- "like the bowl’s name, primary sponsor, television deal and the opposing conference -- remain unclear." Lewand said that there are sponsorship talks with "several different potential partners." The bowl game has a "six-year contract, will feature a Big Ten team each season" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 7/18). Hoffman said, "There’s no reason a city can’t have two bowl games at the same venue. It happens in San Diego, it happens in New Orleans, it happens in Orlando." He added, “We have a good relationship with the people at Ford Field. We’ve just had discussions with representatives from Little Caesars last week. Now, that the Lions have their bowl game with the Big Ten they can turn their attention to us" (DETROIT NEWS, 7/18).

THE PEACH PIT: In Atlanta, Tim Tucker reported the Chick-fil-A Bowl is "testing names that it might adopt when it joins the new College Football Playoff." A return of "Peach" to the bowl's name "remains a possibility -- but not a certainty." Chick-fil-A Bowl President & CEO Gary Stokan said that the bowl's advertising agency, Brunner, is "testing other names by surveying a 'cross-section of people from ticket buyers to sponsors to volunteers." The name "Legacy" is another option. Tucker noted the game "gained stature in April when it was named one of six bowls that will rotate as hosts of national semifinal games in the new playoff system," which begins in '14. But CFP organizers "stipulated that the Atlanta bowl's name would have to become more in sync with the other five, all of which include a traditional moniker as well as a corporate sponsor." Whether Peach or another name is chosen, the bowl "will have a corporate title sponsor," and Chick-fil-A "wants to maintain that role." The Atlanta-based QSR, which in the past "negotiated with local bowl officials, must reach a deal with ESPN, which could choose a different corporate title sponsor if negotiations fail." Stokan said that there is "no timetable for the bowl's board of trustees to make a decision on the moniker" (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 7/16).
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