SBJ/August 29-September 4, 2011/Colleges

Georgia’s participation helps boost sales

The business model for the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game relies strictly on revenue from ticket sales and sponsorship. The game does not receive a TV rights fee from the broadcaster, which has been ESPN for the first four editions of the game.

Gary Stokan, the game’s chief executive, said the late nature of arranging this year’s matchup slowed the sales cycle at first, but the addition of a local school, Georgia, gave them a push that has led to an uptick in secondary sponsorship sales. Chick-fil-A has been the game’s title sponsor since it debuted in 2008, paying in the mid-six figures annually for that position. Coca-Cola, AT&T, SunTrust Bank, Russell, Kia and Delta are among the premium sponsors.

“The growth of the game in the overall college marketplace has really helped us, and companies have stepped up,” Stokan said. “We’re fortunate that sales are up this year and certainly having Georgia helped, but it’s also the growth of the franchise itself.”

— Michael Smith


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