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Volume 23 No. 24
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Gift suites remain the go-to for bowl hosts

Shopping sprees, Tony the Tiger and even fanny packs highlight gifts for players from participating schools.

Since 2006, Sports Business Journal has tracked the gifts that college football bowl committees have provided to the participants of their respective Football Bowl Subdivision games. Over the past few years, the majority of committees have opted to provide players with an opportunity to select items from a pop-up store, or gift suite, that is set up on campus or in the bowl’s host city prior to the game. The NCAA allows the committees to provide each participant with gifts totaling a combined maximum value of $550.

While electronics have become the most popular offerings, this year a handful of committees will capitalize on college football’s 150th anniversary by providing a commemorative coin or the “History of The Bowls: Celebrating The Good of The Game” book. Committees that provided the book were given a one-time waiver by the NCAA, so the gift did not count toward the $550 limit.

This month will also mark the first time a character from a cereal brand will adorn gift items (from the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl). Additionally, and inexplicably, a fanny pack will make its bowl season debut as part of the gift package cooked up by the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. It could also be the last time that players going to Charlotte are treated to a shopping spree at Belk department store, as this is the last year of that retailer’s title sponsorship.

The AutoZone Liberty Bowl folks will continue their shopping tradition. On Dec. 26, while one team is shopping at the Bass Pro Shops in the iconic Memphis Pyramid (the former home of University of Memphis basketball), the other school will enjoy two hours of unlimited food and gaming at Dave & Buster’s. The agenda will flip the next night.

New games in Myrtle Beach and Boston next year will help increase the bowl gift pie.

Goodyear Cotton Bowl representatives again would not disclose the contents of this year’s gift package. Organizers of this season’s national championship game also declined to provide details of their gifts. Players in last year’s title game, which featured Clemson and Alabama, each received an Armani Exchange watch and case, a jacket, a garment bag and a New Era cap.

Photos courtesy of participating brands
Notes: All times listed are ET. Product details are provided as they were available as of Dec. 4. Most watches, rings, clothing, luggage and footballs are custom-made with the bowl logo. Gift suites are set up as private events in which up to 125 game participants per school are given an order form and allowed to select a gift, or gifts, up to a value that is determined by each bowl, not to exceed the NCAA limit of $550 per person. Additional packages can be purchased by the school.
Sources: Bowl committees and vendors

 

Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl

Dec. 20, 2 p.m., ESPN

Nassau, Bahamas Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium

■ Gift suite; board shorts; Yeti Rambler bottle; towel; pin; string backpack

 

Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl

Dec. 20, 7:30 p.m., ESPN2

Frisco, Texas
Toyota Stadium

■ Gift suite; Justin cowboy hat; football; college football 150th anniversary coin; lapel pin; Blingware cup; beanie

 

Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl

Dec. 21, noon, ABC

Atlanta
Mercedes-Benz Stadium

■ Gift suite; headphones; backpack; beanie

 

New Mexico Bowl

Dec. 21, 2 p.m., ESPN

Albuquerque, N.M. Dreamstyle Stadium

■ Gift suite; Oakley Holbrook sunglasses; Oakley Gearbox backpack; beanie; water bottle

 

Cure Bowl

Dec. 21, 2:30 p.m., CBSSN

Orlando

Exploria Stadium

■ Watch; Bluetooth backpack; warm-up jacket and pants; Sportek long sleeve T-shirt; mid-fit structured hat; Pebble Beach slides

 

Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl

Dec. 21, 3:30 p.m., ABC

Boca Raton, Fla.
FAU Stadium

■ Online gift suite; assortment of bowl-branded items

 

Camellia Bowl

Dec. 21, 5:30 p.m., ESPN

Montgomery, Ala. Cramton Bowl

■ Gift suite; Fossil watch; ESPN-branded Samsonite rolling bag and beanie; football

 

Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl

Dec. 21, 7:30 p.m., ABC

Las Vegas
Sam Boyd Stadium

■ Gift suite; socks; beanie; portable charger

 

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl

Dec. 21, 9 p.m., ESPN

New Orleans
Mercedes-Benz Stadium

■ Gift Suite; Fossil watch

 

Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl

Dec. 23, 2:30 p.m., ESPN

Tampa
Raymond James Stadium

■ Gift suite

 

SoFi Hawai‘i Bowl

Dec. 24, 8 p.m., ESPN

Honolulu
Aloha Stadium

■ Gift suite; Kahala aloha shirt; Oakley backpack and sunglasses; performance T-shirt; beach towel; surf trunks

 

Walk-On’s Independence Bowl

Dec. 26, 4 p.m., ESPN

Shreveport, La. Independence Stadium

■ Gift suite; Timely Watch Co. watch; beanie; “History of The Bowls: Celebrating the Good of The Game” book; football

 

Quick Lane Bowl

Dec. 26, 8 p.m., ESPN

Detroit
Ford Field

■ Best Buy gift card; JBL E55BT over-ear wireless headphones by Harman; Sticker Genius life-sized PhotoSlap decal for each participant of his likeness; hoodie; T-shirt; pom hat; backpack and tag; football; mini helmet

 

Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman

Dec. 27, noon, ESPN

Annapolis, Md.
Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium

■ Attempts to obtain the list from the committee were unsuccessful.

 

New Era Pinstripe Bowl

Dec. 27, 3:20 p.m., ESPN

New York
Yankee Stadium

■ JBL/Harmon gift card; a variety of New Era products

 

Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl

Dec. 27, 6:45 p.m., ESPN

Houston
NRG Stadium

■ Gift suite; Academy Sports + Outdoors gift card; Justin cowboy hat; belt buckle; bandana; Adidas duffle bag, shoe bag and toiletry bag

 

San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl

Dec. 27, 8 p.m., FS1

San Diego
SDCCU Stadium

■ Gift suite; Fossil watch; wireless speaker

 

Cheez-It Bowl

Dec. 27, 10:15 p.m., ESPN

Phoenix
Chase Field

■ GoPro Hero 7 with accessories and carrying case; Fossil watch; Oakley sunglasses; Ogio Shuttle Pack backpack; “History of The Bowls: Celebrating the Good of The Game” book; Ice Shaker insulated bottle; Branded Bills cap and travel case

 

Camping World Bowl

Dec. 28, noon, ABC

Orlando
Camping World Stadium

■ $400 Best Buy gift card; watch; Herschel backpack with luggage tag

 

Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic

Dec. 28, noon, ESPN

Arlington, Texas
AT&T Stadium

■ Would not disclose gifts.

 

PlayStation Fiesta Bowl (College Football Playoff Semifinal)

Dec. 28, 4 or 8 p.m., ESPN

Glendale, Ariz.
State Farm Stadium

■ PlayStation PS4 gift package; Fossil watch; Ogio Shuttle Pack backpack; “History of The Bowls: Celebrating the Good of The Game” book; Ice Shaker insulated bottle

 

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl (College Football Playoff Semifinal)

Dec. 28, 4 or 8 p.m., ESPN

Atlanta
Mercedes-Benz Stadium

■ $390 Vanilla Visa gift card; Fossil watch; football

 

Servpro First Responder Bowl

Dec. 30, 12:30 p.m., ESPN

Dallas
Gerald J. Ford Stadium

■ Gift suite; Parkland duffle bag; football; Nine Line Apparel patriotic athletic wear

 

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl

Dec. 30, 4 p.m., ESPN

Nashville
Nissan Stadium

■ Gift suite; Fossil watch

 

Redbox Bowl

Dec. 30, 4 p.m., Fox

Santa Clara, Calif.
Levi’s Stadium

■ Nintendo Switch Lite; Nixon watch; Turtle Beach gaming headphones; Herschel Supply Co. backpack; Goodr sunglasses

 

Capital One Orange Bowl

Dec. 30, 8 p.m., ESPN
Miami Gardens, Fla.
Hard Rock Stadium

■ Gift suite; Tourneau watch; full-sized split helmet

 

Belk Bowl

Dec. 31, noon, ESPN

Charlotte
Bank of America Stadium

■ Shopping trip to Belk department store; Wenger watch

 

Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl

Dec. 31, 2 p.m., CBS

El Paso, Texas
Sun Bowl

■ Gift suite; Timely Watch Co. Silvertone watch; Majestic Pro-Base fleece pullover; Ogio Excelsior backpack; New Era cap; coin

 

AutoZone Liberty Bowl

Dec. 31, 3:45 p.m., ESPN

Memphis
Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium

■ Bass Pro Shops shopping trip; Bose SoundLink Color Bluetooth speaker II; Caravelle by Bulova watch; Nike athletic shoes, sport sandals, backpack and sunglasses; football

 

Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl

Dec. 31, 4:30 p.m., CBSSN

Tucson, Ariz.
Arizona Stadium

■ Gift suite; Herschel Supply Co. Chapter travel kit; New Era insulated beanie

 

Valero Alamo Bowl

Dec. 31, 7:30 p.m., ESPN

San Antonio Alamodome

■ Apple AirPods Pro; $115 Amazon gift card; Michael Kors watch; helmet; team panoramic photo

 

VRBO Citrus Bowl

Jan. 1, 1 p.m., ABC

Orlando
Camping World Stadium

■ $400 Best Buy gift card; watch; Herschel backpack with luggage tag

 

Outback Bowl

Jan. 1, 1 p.m., ESPN

Tampa
Raymond James Stadium

■ Fossil watch; $125 Amazon gift card; Jostens ring; Outback Steakhouse gift card; hat

 

Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual

Jan. 1, 5 p.m., ESPN

Pasadena, Calif.
Rose Bowl

■ Gift suite; Fossil watch; Ogio backpack; New Era 9Fifty snapback adjustable hat

 

Allstate Sugar Bowl

Jan. 1, 8:45 p.m., ESPN

New Orleans
Mercedes-Benz Superdome

■ Gift suite; Armani Exchange watch; “History of The Bowls: Celebrating the Good of The Game” book; New Era hat; Rock ‘Em socks; performance hooded T-shirt

 

TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl

Jan. 2, 3 p.m., ESPN

Birmingham, Ala. Legion Field

■ Gift suite; coin; “History of The Bowls: Celebrating the Good of The Game” book; bucket hat

 

TaxSlayer Gator Bowl

Jan. 2, 7 p.m., ESPN

Jacksonville
TIAA Bank Field

■ Noise-canceling headphones and bluetooth speaker inside a personalized box; Maui Jim Sunglasses with fitting; Fossil watch; backpack; “History of The Bowls: Celebrating the Good of The Game” book

 

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

Jan. 3, 3:30 p.m., ESPN

Boise, Idaho
Albertsons Stadium

■ Gift suite; Thule Achiever computer backpack; Herschel Supply Co. hip pack; beanie; coin

 

Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl

Jan. 4, 11:30 a.m., ESPN

Fort Worth, Texas
Amon G. Carter Stadium

■ Gift suite; college football 150th anniversary coin; beanie; neck pillow; football; Nine Line Apparel patriotic athletic wear

 

 

The Lending Tree Bowl

Jan. 6, 7:30 p.m., ESPN

Mobile, Ala.
Ladd-Peebles Stadium

■ Gift suite; personalized noise-canceling headphones and charging bank; Fossil watch; Herschel Supply Co. backpack

 

College Football Playoff National Championship

Jan. 13, 8 p.m., ESPN

New Orleans Mercedes-Benz Superdome

■ Would not disclose gifts.