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Behind The Bowls - Part 2. Swag, $, and More
Northwestern QB C.J. Bacher
Northwestern QB C.J. Bacher
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Dec 16, 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 two of Behind The Bowls.



Behind The Bowls, Part 2

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

By Richard Cirminiello 

- Part 1 | Part 3

Motor City Bowl

Best Non-Game Event
For the players, it’s the Motor City Bowl “Players Night Out”. For the fans, it has to be the pre-game pep rally in Greektown.

Player Gift Package
Players from each school will receive a leather, rolling logoed athletic travel bag, a computer/backpack style bag, a Motor City Bowl commemorative watch, and an autographed Motor City Bowl souvenir football.

Charitable Component
The Motor City Bowl contributes to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. It’s also a prominent member of the Stocking Stuffer Program, in which corporate donations benefit charities and students throughout the Metro Detroit and southeast Michigan area.

How Success is Measured
The bowl's success is measured by the combination of attendance and local economic impact.

MVP of the Bowl
The bowl's Executive Director Ken Hoffman is the visionary that devised the plan to bring a college bowl game to Detroit, and that it is a celebration of the city's legacy with the auto industry. He brought in partner, George Perles, and even today continues to be the driving force behind the Motor City Bowl.

Impact to the Community
The Metro Detroit Convention & Visitors Bureau estimates that the Motor City Bowl generates an economic impact of $14 million on the Greater Detroit economy.

Role of Volunteers
The Motor City Bowl is a non-BCS bowl game, and is also only in its 12th year of operation. Therefore, the bowl does not have the available budget of older, more historic bowls. Further, the bowl is not in one of the nation's warm weather climates during the winter months, which impacts the outdoor "play time" available to the bowl travel parties and the ancillary sponsor opportunities that go with such advantages. This combination makes for a limited paid-staff, even though the same tasks that are required to operate a successful bowl in those other locales must be carried out.  As a result, volunteers are the lifeblood of the Motor City Bowl's success.   

Meineke Car Care Bowl

Best Non-Game Event
For the players, it is the LMS Experience. Both teams are taken to the Lowe's Motor Speedway and everyone gets three laps with the Richard Petty Driving Experience at 160 mph.

For the fans, it is the RBC Bank Street Festival and Pep Rally. Streets are blocked off in the center of Charlotte with vendors for food, merchandise, games and interactive situations. A live band will play on the stage. Then at 5 PM, the Pep Rally features players and coaches from both teams, marching bands and special guests to fire up fans for the game the next day.

Player Gift Package
Players from each school will receive a Flip (digital video recorder), a personalized commemorative football, a Fossil watch and sunglasses kit, a laptop backpack, and a racing-themed baseball hat.

Charitable Component
Through the title sponsor, the bowl has a relationship with Levine Children's Home. It is a wing of Carolinas Medical Center dedicated to serving sick children.

How Success is Measured
The bowl game is a success if the players and fans leave saying it was one of the best experiences they have had at a sporting event.

MVP of the Bowl
The Meineke Car Care Bowl staff works as a true team. Everyone is involved in all facets of the bowl game.

Impact to the Community
The event has an estimated economic impact of $20 million each year. Hotels and restaurants in Uptown saw very slow business during the end of December before the Meineke Car Care Bowl. Now, they have some of their busiest nights of the year.

Role of Volunteers
The Meineke Car Care Bowl has a limited number of volunteers, but they are crucial. The volunteers work with the teams, as liaisons and hospitality room managers.  

Champs Sports Bowl

Best Non-Game Event
Florida Citrus Sports has an entire week of events between its two games, the Champs Sports Bowl and Capital One Bowl, called Bowl-a-Palooza, which this year is featuring Cheap Trick. At its games, the players’ favorites are usually the theme-park visits simply because its something they can't do every day, much less at most other bowls. 

Player Gift Package
Players receive a $400 Best Buy shopping spree while they are in Florida, a commemorative watch, and a goody bag.

Charitable Component
The governing organization, Florida Citrus Sports, has a charitable foundation that is benevolent throughout the year.

How Success is Measured
Finances are naturally a key factor, but as stated to its members and scouts who select the participants, Florida Citrus Sports is always looking for the best matchup.  Last year, it successfully achieved that with Michigan-Florida in the Capital One Bowl and Michigan State-Boston College in the Champs Sports Bowl, as both were lauded as two of the best games on the field last season.

MVP of the Bowl
Executive director Steve Hogan is a vital cog at Florida Citrus Sports, but he would probably say that this organization has been here since 1947, and it will likely continue to be throughout the years because of the hard work of the staff and the organization's members who volunteer each year.

Impact to the Community
The impact is significant. A recent assessment of the two games—the Champs Sports Bowl and Capital One Bowl—estimated that $71.7 million in new economic activity was generated as a result of the games last year. 

Role of Volunteers
Enormous. They help throughout the Bowl-a-Palooza week from the games to the Bowl-a-Palooza Concert  to the Spherion Orlando Citrus Parade and on and on.     

Emerald Bowl

Best Non-Game Event
For players, coaches, and staffs, it’s the annual trip to Alcatraz Island. The bowl has done it since the first game in 2002. Both teams go on the same boat from Pier 33 to 'The Rock'. Two years ago, Bobby Bowden called it the highlight of FSU's trip, other than winning the game. For fans, the annual Kickoff Luncheon at the Westin St. Francis Hotel on Union Square the day before the game is the highlight.

Player Gift Package
Players from each school will receive Sony noise-canceling headphones, a rolling Armor Gear duffel bag, a Fossil watch, an Emerald Bowl cap.

Charitable Component
The Emerald Bowl works very closely with local Pop Warner football programs.

How Success is Measured
In-stadium attendance, television ratings, and the perception that the Emerald Bowl continues to be a rising star in this arena. Attendance and ratings have been their highest the last two years.

MVP of the Bowl
Two. Michael Mendes, Chief Executive Officer of Diamond Foods, Inc., the game's title sponsor since day one.  Without Michael's involvement, expertise and leadership, the game would be nowhere near where it is currently. Executive director Gary Cavalli. He is the co-founder of the game, and has been the game's only executive director since its inception. He has the smallest staff of any bowl game, 2.5 people. 

Impact to the Community
The 2007 Emerald Bowl generated $14.4 million to the local San Francisco economy. 

Role of Volunteers
Volunteers play a huge role in the success of the game. The hospitality committee, chaired by Steve Steinhart, takes care of any and all needs that the teams might have. Further, there is a corps of game-day helpers in game operations, media, and other areas.

Independence Bowl

Best Non-Game Event
The Pep Rally. Everyone loves it. It’s been the scene of crowds in excess of 30,000 over the last few years. It’s held at the Louisiana Boardwalk, which is an outdoor shopping mall across the Red River in Bossier City, La.

Player Gift Package
Players from each school will receive a Trek Mountain Bike, a New Era baseball cap, a Timely Co. watch, and a souvenir football.

Charitable Component
The bowl coordinates a Military Ticket Initiative in which it offers the area military discounted tickets. It also has a unique program created a few years ago by Media Relations Director Patrick Meehan called the "Kid's Corner Youth Ticket Donation Program". Area businesses and individuals donate tickets to local non-profit organizations in an effort to give kids, who normally would not have the chance, the opportunity to attend the game.
 
How Success is Measured
Ticket sales, TV ratings, and feedback from visiting fans, the teams, and the media

MVP of the Bowl
While it’s hard to single out one individual, Independence Stadium manager Ronnie Hammond is indispensable to the success of the game. If the bowl handed out a Heisman Trophy, he’d land the hardware.

Impact to the Community
The local economic impact of the game ranges from $12-20 million annually. The Independence Bowl gives the region a chance to showcase Shreveport-Bossier to a national audience via ESPN. Out-of-town visitors, in particular, help local hotels, casinos, restaurants, and other business achieve their annual financial objectives.

Role of Volunteers
Volunteers play a huge role in the success of the event. They are a must. The Independence Bowl relies on hundreds of volunteers each year who form committees and help put on bowl week events, host teams, and provide hospitality to visitors.

Alamo Bowl

Best Non-Game Event
The pep rally on the river two days before the game is one of the most popular and is uniquely San Antonio. Players and bands arrive to the River Theatre via river cruisers with captains, coaches, and cheerleaders on stage. Thousands of fans pack the theatre with many more lined up and down the Riverwalk.

Player Gift Package
An 80 gig Sony PS3, a basketball PS3 video game, a Fossil watch, and a mini-helmet.

Charitable Component
The bowl has a scholarship program which recognizes 25 outstanding San Antonio high school kids at the game and gives them $3,000 toward the school of their choice.

How Success is Measured
The goal each year is to deliver top ratings, capacity crowds, and a significant economic impact to San Antonio.

MVP of the Bowl
Derrick Fox is the president of the Alamo Bowl and was hired 18 months before the inaugural game. He had previously spent six years at the Fiesta Bowl and has taken this game from No. 18 out of 18 bowl games, in terms of team payout, to No. 12 out of 34 games.

Impact to the Community
It delivers an economic impact of more than $20 million each year in terms of visitor spending, as well as millions more in measurable media value for the city.

Role of Volunteers
With a staff of just six full-time employees, the Alamo Bowl requires a volunteer staff to help deliver the San Antonio bowl experience that the teams and the fans have come to expect.

- Part 1 | Part 3