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Volume 24 No. 158
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Sources: Northwestern Mutual To Replace Vizio As Presenting Sponsor Of Rose Bowl


SBJ Podcast:
College writer Michael Smith and Executive Editor Abraham Madkour talk about Northwestern Mutual's presenting sponsorship with the Rose Bowl.

Northwestern Mutual will be the "new presenting sponsor of the Rose Bowl ... in a deal that makes it a major supporter of the new college football playoff structure," according to sources cited by Michael Smith of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. ESPN "sold the sponsorship to Northwestern Mutual, which already has a large advertising spend with the network on its college programming." Specific terms were not available, but sources "believe the presenting sponsorship to be worth" $25M a year over six years. Title sponsorships in the old BCS went for $15-20M annually per game. The Rose Bowl is the "only bowl in the CFP group that has a presenting sponsor instead of a title sponsor." ESPN has "been in negotiations with incumbent bowl title sponsors and prospects since late last fall." While not all of the CFP sponsorships have been "locked down, industry experts expect the Rose Bowl to be the only one that turns over." Vizio had been the Rose Bowl’s presenting sponsor "for the past four years." Since '12, when Northwestern Mutual "struck its NCAA partnership, the Milwaukee-based financial services firm has invested heavily in college sports," and recently "extended its NCAA corporate partnership" through '20 (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 4/21 issue).

PEACH PIT: In Atlanta, Tim Tucker reported "Peach" is returning to the name of Atlanta’s Chick-fil-A Bowl "after an eight-year absence." Peach was "dropped from the name" in '06 in return for more sponsorship money from Chick-fil-A. The change back to Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl "stems from last April’s decision by College Football Playoff organizers to make the Atlanta bowl one of six rotating sites of national semifinal games." Playoff organizers "stipulated that the Atlanta bowl’s name would have to become more in sync with the other five in the semifinal rotation, all of which include a traditional moniker as well as a corporate sponsor." Chick-fil-A Bowl President & CEO Gary Stokan said, "It got down to what is our history, what is our heritage, what's our tradition and how can we pay homage to that in our name. We undertook the research to find out what is the best name and how it fits with the bowl." Chick-fil-A Exec VP & CMO Steve Robinson said the QSR is "completely comfortable and supportive" with restoring the Peach name because of the "judicious" way the decision was made. Meanwhile, the name of the season-opening Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game "will not change" (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 4/19).