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Behind The Bowls - Part 1. Swag, $, and More
Wake Forest LB Aaron Curry
Wake Forest LB Aaron Curry
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Dec 14, 2008


What kinds of gifts, toys and swag do each of the players get from the bowls? Who are the key people behind the scenes? What do the bowls do for the communities? What qualifies as a success for each bowl? Richard Cirminiello dives into the behind the scenes stuff in part one of Behind The Bowls.

Behind The Bowls, Part 1

The swag, the events, the background for each bowl game

By Richard Cirminiello 

- Part 2 | Part 3

EagleBank Bowl

Best Non-Game Event
While this is the inaugural EagleBank Bowl, there are several events that will make this game compelling. Both teams will have the opportunity to visit the Capitol and injured troops at The US Naval Academy, which is unique to this part of the country. Each school will also have an evening at the ESPN Sports Zone and there will be a luncheon on Dec. 19 at the JW Marriott that will feature numerous prestigious speakers.  

Player Gift Package
Players from both schools will receive a Sony 8" portable DVD player with carry case, a 50" x 60" custom woven afghan w/ logo, an autographed football, and a wool hat w/ embroidered logo.

Charitable Component
The numerous charities associated with the game includes Positive Choices, the Wounded EOD Warrior Foundation, the National Kidney Foundation, Peaceholics, the D.C. Public Education Fund, and Title IX Scholarships.

How Success is Measured
This is the first of what the committee hopes are many years of the EagleBank Bowl. Success comes in different ways, but first and foremost is creating a great experience for the two teams that come to Washington DC. It wants the players, coaches and administrators to come away saying that this was a first- class experience that reflects well on Washington DC.

Another measure of success is how well the charitable causes are supported. The game is not simply associating itself with these different charities. It wants to contribute to each of them and help each grow because they are all making great contributions both regionally and nationally.  

The EagleBank Bowl is also designed to drive revenues for local businesses and thereby support the community in which the committee works and lives.

Impact to the Community
The benefits to the local community will be numerous, however, the local charities will feel the largest impact of the game. The charitable impact on the local community is the biggest reason EagleBank got involved. In addition to benefiting charities, the opportunity to bring football back to RFK Stadium and show off the facility to a national audience is tremendous. 

Role of Volunteers
Volunteers will play a vital role in the success of the inaugural EagleBank Bowl. The effort to get the game to Washington was initiated by volunteers, and much of the work in planning and executing the lead up to the game has been done by volunteers. The week and day of the game will depend on several hundred volunteers to ensure the game is run in an exceptional manner. A large portion of how people view the city and game will come from the perception of the volunteers.

New Mexico Bowl

Best Non-Game Event
The El Pinto Welcome Reception and Team Dinner stands out among the most popular events each year. The event, held Dec. 17 this year, is hosted annually by El Pinto, a local New Mexican restaurant. It’s unique and exciting because each year there is a Chili Cook-off. Each school fields a team of six cooks and is given 45 minutes to turn raw ingredients into a delicious green chile stew, one of the state's favorite dishes. The winner is decided by a panel of judges that usually includes El Pinto owner Jim Thomas. An interesting note on the event, too, is the strange coincidence that has occurred with the winners. The first year, New Mexico won the cook-off but lost the bowl game, and last year, Nevada won the cook-off and lost the bowl game.

Player Gift Package
This year’s player gift package includes an Oakley backpack, an Oakley watch, an RCA video recorder/camera, an Oakley beanie, a personalized commemorative football, a New Mexico Bowl pen by Quill, a New Era Cap, and a one-year subscription to ESPN the magazine.

Charitable Component
The New Mexico Bowl works with many local charities, including Special Olympics, New Mexico Boys and Girls Ranch, and the UNM Children's Hospital.

How Success is Measured
Success is measured on a number of levels, but the biggest is by the response of the participating teams and their fans. Of course, attendance is a factor, as is how the bowl did financially; The committee feels it’s doing well in both of those areas. The biggest concern is whether the student-athletes and everyone involved have a great time and walk away saying that they’d like to return to the New Mexico Bowl in the future. If that’s achieved, as it has been in the past, then success has been reached.

MVP of the Bowl
Linda Perkins and there’s no two ways about it. She sits at the front desk and takes care of everything.  While Jeff Siembieda may be called the "executive director", she is the one who runs this operation. From volunteers, to bills, to phones, to dealing with clients and board members, she is the MVP of this bowl game.

Impact to the Community
It is the premier annual sports event in the state, and the only annual nationally televised event in New Mexico, so it has got quite an impact. New Mexico is growing and this is a key component to show that this state can play on a national stage. The community is proud of this event and wants to see it grow. Plus, on what is traditionally the slowest tourism week of the year in New Mexico, hotels, restaurants and attractions are being filled, so obviously, the economic impact is substantial.

Role of Volunteers
For the most part, volunteers are a huge part of bowl week. They staff events and help out at all of the events. Plus, they take pride in being a part of the New Mexico Bowl and showing off the host state.

St. Petersburg Bowl

Best Non-Game Event
The players will enjoy activities, such as dinner and a movie along the St. Petersburg Pier, a dinner cruise, and a beach bash on St. Pete Beach. The fans will be able to revel in a week of activities, which includes a team beach challenge at the Tradewinds, fan pep rally, and fan fest.

Player Gift Package
Players from each school will receive a Flip (digital video device), an Ogio bag, Sony headphones, a commemorative football, a beach towel, and a bucket hat.

Charitable Component
The St. Petersburg Bowl will be working very closely with the Mike Alstott Family Foundation.

How Success is Measured
In its inaugural season, the St. Petersburg Bowl is aiming to provide a quality experience for the student athletes and their fans.

MVP of the Bowl
It's a team effort, with a big team that includes a board of advisors from the St. Petersburg community, so it’s hard to single out one person. Everyone plays an important role in this process.

Impact to the Community
The game anticipates having a tremendous economic impact on the city of St. Petersburg, as well as bringing awareness to the community. It also plans to impact many lives through its charitable work with the Mike Alstott Family Foundation.

Role of Volunteers
Volunteers play a huge role in the success of the game by providing valuable assistance in hosting the teams and fans, and being an extension of the bowl staff as the face of the game.

Las Vegas Bowl

Best Non-Game Event
Obviously, Las Vegas offers some unique settings for its bowl events. The team welcome reception takes place on a mini-Brooklyn Bridge outside of the New York New York Hotel with the amazing Las Vegas Strip as a backdrop. Elvis sings. Showgirls pose. It's a very memorable time. Then the teams go in to play games and eat at ESPN ZONE inside the hotel.

Also, the teams are treated to a world-class Las Vegas show on the Strip. Whether it's BYU going to see Blue Man Group in 2006 or UCLA heading to KA by Cirque du Soleil in 2007 or this year's teams heading in to Planet Hollywood Resort to take in Stomp Out Loud, you'd be hard pressed to find such entertainment options at any other bowl game.

Player Gift Package
Players from each school will receive a Wii System, an Oakley Holeshot 3hd watch, and a Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl hat

Charitable Component
This year, the Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl has partnered with the group Cell Phones for Soldiers to raise funds to provide Southern Nevada troops deployed abroad with prepaid calling cards. Cell Phones for Soldiers is an organization founded by teens Brittany and Rob Bergquist that collects used cellular telephones and accessories and sells them to ReCellular, which then recycles the products. Proceeds are then used by Cell Phones for Soldiers to purchase prepaid calling cards that are distributed to members of the United States Military. Donations will be accepted through December 20, with the donation check and phones being presented at Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl XVII.

How Success is Measured
The Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl is looking at a fourth consecutive sold-out game in 2008, so the bar has recently been raised for attendance. An attractive matchup that produces an exciting game on the field is also paramount to an overall successful bowl experience. Of course, this is Las Vegas, and if nothing else, the bowl committee wants all the players, coaches, staff and fans to have a great time while visiting one of the most exciting cities on the planet.

MVP of the Bowl
The Pioneer Las Vegas has chosen not to single out any one individual from a group that it considers to be indispensable.

Impact to the Community
The Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl was introduced in 1992, then pitting the Mid-American champ vs. the Big West champ, for the purpose of filling hotel rooms on the Las Vegas Strip during what is traditionally a down period here—the week before Christmas. Now, even though Las Vegas has exploded in tourism numbers since that time, the bowl still is responsible for filling a good percentage of rooms each December. As the game has grown from sparse crowds to sold-out stands, the bowl has become a key part of the community's very busy event calendar.

Poinsettia Bowl

Best Non-Game Event
For fans during bowl week, the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl will be staging the first ever march through the historical Gaslamp district of the city.  Both bands and spirit squads will march from each end of the historic downtown area and meet in the middle for the Battle of the Bands.  For the players, the annual Grand Prix is very popular. Helmets will be strapped on the players—and coaches—and a grand prix-style karting race will be staged.

Player Gift Package
Players will receive a Tommy Hilfiger watch, an 8 gig iPOD touch, a Best Buy certificate, and a hooded sweatshirt from Sports Tek

Charitable Component
The Make-A-Wish Foundation of San Diego is the primary beneficiary of the Poinsettia Bowl. One dollar per ticket goes to the charity, and Wish Kids serve in roles, such as Honorary Captains, flipping the coin, getting the tee after kickoff, and participating in the National Anthem. The bowl also brings 600 wish representatives, including kids and families, to the game gratis. They all participate in a pregame show parade honoring the charity. 

How Success is Measured
There are many benchmarks by which the bowl committee measures success.  First, it aims to provide a considerable economic impact on the San Diego region. The more fans that travel to San Diego for each game the better. Second, it wants to see large crowds at each game. Third, it expects those fans to enjoy not only the game, but the entire experience, including pregame and halftime shows, and non-game entertainment. And finally, it’s important to the committee that the student-athletes have enjoyable bowl week experiences that will provide memories to last a lifetime. The Poinsettia Bowl staff puts a lot of energy into providing them with a first-class San Diego bowl week.

MVP of the Bowl
There are so many people that play invaluable roles in the production of the game, it’s impossible to choose a single person. The bowl is fortunate to have a dedicated and loyal volunteer corps. It has 30 active board members, 120 committee members, and several hundred other volunteers. It's because of these selfless people that the bowl is so highly regarded throughout college football. The committee believes it has the hardest working corps of volunteers among the postseason games.

Impact to the Community
The mission of the bowl game is to generate tourism, exposure, economic benefit, and civic pride for San Diego and it's citizens by presenting the nation's most entertaining bowl games and festivals of events.  The impact the game has on the San Diego community is considerable. Last year, for example, the games—the Holiday and Poinsettia Bowls—generated an economic benefit of more than $40 million. San Diegans are enthusiastic about both games.

Role of Volunteers
There are only nine individuals who are paid to put on two games in San Diego, the Poinsettia and Holiday Bowl. They rely heavily on volunteers to make these games and festivities function on a year-round basis.  They produce, sell, and market their calendar of events, such as outrigger canoe races, 3-on-3 basketball tournament, golf tournament, wiener dog races, hole-in-one tournament, and more. They truly will play a role in every function associated with the organization. 

Hawaii Bowl

Best Non-Game Event
The Barefoot Pep Rally allows the locals to mingle with the teams, cheerleaders, bands and tourists on world famous Waikiki Beach. After the sun goes down, the beach is converted into the world's most beautiful outdoor movie theatre and a football themed movie is screened free of charge for all to enjoy.

Player Gift Package
Players from both schools will receive a Hawaii Bowl custom backpack, a KICKER IKick500 ipod/iphone, a custom Hawaii Bowl tie, Oakley sunglasses, a Kahala Aloha shirt, a Wearever beach chair, a beach towel, a team t-shirt, an SHB calendar, a Hawaii Bowl hat, a Hawaii Bowl visor, and Luggage Spotter bag tags.     

Charitable Component
Since its inception, the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl has made sure there is a community "giveback" component to the bowl. Through ancillary events that occur year-round, the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl has donated more than $270,000 in cash to various Hawaii non-profit agencies. In addition, the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl over the past four years has provided more than $1,250,000 worth of tickets to Hawaii-based military personnel and local non-profit organizations. 

A partial list of benefactors includes: Rainbow Fever, American Diabetes Association, all of the Military Branches, HHSAA, Adult Friends for Youth, Pop Warner, YMCA, Big Brothers Big Sisters, HSTA, Special Olympics, Hawaii Speed and Quickness, Pacific Islands Athletic Alliance, OIA,  Hawaii Children's Cancer Foundation, Cure Autism Now, American Red Cross, Aloha United Way, Honolulu Symphony, Rehab Hospital of the Pacific, Ronald McDonald House of Hawaii, Various Public and Private Schools, and the Lokahi Giving Project.

How Success is Measured
Success is measured by the level of community support received by the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl during the winter, summer, and in the fall, prior to the announcement of the match up each year.  It is the tremendous local support and civic pride that will continue to grow the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl into Hawaii’s Holiday Tradition.

MVP of the Bowl
The Sheraton Hawaii Bowl is truly a team effort that would not be successful without the hard work of all involved. It would be impossible to single out one individual above all others.

Impact to the Community
In addition to the charitable aspect, the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl provides the rest of the country with a three-hour glimpse into the spectacular scenery and year-round beautiful weather of Hawaii. This exposure is invaluable to the state's main economic driver—tourism.

Role of Volunteers
Quite simply, without the volunteers, which include board members, the game would not be played. The Sheraton Hawaii Bowl operates with a full-time staff of two people. All of the work is accomplished with the help and hard work of interns and volunteers. 


- Part 2 | Part 3