Texas Bowl Hopes New Title Sponsor Deal With Locally-Based Academy Sports Brings Stability
Houston-based Academy Sports + Outdoors has signed a three-year deal to title sponsor the Texas Bowl, and the Texans "hope the annual December college game at NRG Stadium can achieve the stability and success forged by similar partnerships in Tampa and Atlanta," according to David Barron of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE. Academy is the "third title sponsor in the Texas Bowl’s 12-year history." The game is owned by ESPN Events and operated by the NFL club. Texans President Jamey Rootes said that the team "began talks with Academy in July and reached agreement on a three-year sponsorship plan that coincided with the game’s contract with the Big 12 and SEC." Rootes: "For Academy, this is not only a marketing investment but an investment in the community. ... With a local partner, a game that is meaningful starts to be so much more." Academy President & CEO J.K. Symancyk said that about 90% of the company's 240 stores are "within states that include Big 12 and SEC schools." Previous title sponsors for the bowl game were AdvoCare ('14-16) and Meineke Car Care ('11-13) (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 11/16).
FOR THE LONG HAUL? In Houston, Jack Witthaus notes the "multimillion-dollar" deal with Academy lasts through '19. Rootes said that he "hopes Academy will stick around after its contract ends." Rootes: "(For) an advertiser in Columbus, Ohio, this is just another property. But (with) somebody in Houston, you get tremendous value." Rootes said that "several local and national companies were interested in sponsoring the bowl." Academy has been a sponsor with the Texans "since the team was founded." Symancyk said that sponsoring a bowl game, the first in company history, is "another sign that the retailer is growing." Symancyk: "It’s a good investment." Witthaus notes the Texas Bowl has "ranked fourth in bowl game attendance" since '14. Meanwhile, AdvoCare Senior Communications Manager Lindsay Bomar said that dietary supplement company "decided not to pursue a new sponsorship contract with the Texas Bowl after it 'diversified into other sports' sponsorships, including tennis and basketball." But the company will "continue its sponsorship of the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff college football game in Houston and the AdvoCare Classic in Dallas" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 11/16).