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Volume 22 No. 7
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Fox Sports signs Ford, Academy Sports, Pizza Hut to sponsor college football stadium tour

Fox Sports has signed Ford, Academy Sports and Pizza Hut as charter sponsors for its “Fox College Saturday Tour” — a roadshow that will sit outside stadiums where Fox is broadcasting its national college football games this season. Fox will use the “tour” for live cut-ins during its pregame shows, allowing the network to interact with passionate fans who attend these games.

It debuts this weekend at the University of Southern California, which hosts Washington State that night. It travels to Cal the following week for its game against Ohio State. Its schedule later in the season still needs to be finalized.

“We’re at so many games, and we touch so many fans, we wanted to bring this into the broadcast,” said Robert Gottlieb, Fox Sports’ executive vice president of marketing. “From a marketing standpoint, we have the ability to bring our broadcast closer to the fans so they can touch it.”

The tour’s set will allow the talent to interact with fans.
Photo by: FOX SPORTS
The tour draws obvious comparisons to ESPN’s popular “College GameDay” pregame show that is produced from a different college campus each week during college football season. Fox executives say its “College Saturday Tour” is different because its 80-foot-by-100-foot set will handle live look-ins rather than act as a full-fledged pregame show. Fox’s pregame show will remain in its Los Angeles studios and it will feature cut-ins from the campus.

“We consciously never set out to do our version of ‘GameDay,’” Gottlieb said. “We have no desk. We have no anchors. We want our talent on-site literally interacting with fans.”

Sideline reporter Kristina Pink will be on-site during the pregame show. On Fridays, Fox’s top college football broadcast booth, Gus Johnson and Charles Davis, will make appearances. Fox Sports 1 studio show “Fox Football Daily” and Fox Sports 1’s college pregame shows will use look-ins from the on-site set.

Fox would not comment on how much the tour will cost, but expenses are being shared across several groups, including production and marketing.

The “Fox College Saturday Tour” will include a presence for its three charter sponsors. The Ford Tailgate Zone will have cornhole boards, ladderball games and a place to watch the game. It also will have the Pizza Hut Ultimate Fan Lounge where fans can watch the game and the Academy Sports + Outdoors Skills Challenge that has a ropes course and blocking dummies.

Terms of these deals were not disclosed.

Gottlieb said there are no plans to add a title sponsor for the show, but they are looking for additional supporting sponsors. “We’re looking at adding some more sponsors,” Gottlieb said.

North Carolina-based JHE Production Group designed the tour.