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Behind The Bowls - Part 4. Swag, $, and More
Clemson RB C.J. Spiller
Clemson RB C.J. Spiller
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Dec 18, 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 four of Behind The Bowls.



Behind The Bowls, Part 4

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

By Richard Cirminiello 

- Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Insight Bowl

Best Non-Game Event
The Insight Fiesta Bowl Block Party is a New Year's Eve celebration in downtown Tempe that annually attracts 150,000 people and more than 40 bands on several stages. The fans from the four teams competing in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl and Insight Bowl are able to enjoy the event, and the Insight Bowl has been held in the afternoon on December 31 just down the street in Sun Devil Stadium. The event has a national headliner each year, including the Goo Goo Dolls, Billy Idol, Barenaked Ladies, LeAnn Rimes, Hootie & The Blowfish and Live, to name a few. Legendary band Styx will perform at this year's event. The Block Party has been named one of the top ten places in the nation to ring in the New Year by USA Today, and "The Place to Party" by The Sporting News.

Player Gift Package
Players from each school will receive a Vizio 26" LCD HD Television, a Bulova Insight Bowl watch, a snack pack, and a game hat.

Charitable Component
As a non-profit organization, the Fiesta Bowl, which also runs the Insight Bowl, believes in the importance of community outreach and service.  Through our involvement and contributions to charitable groups, it has upheld its commitment of annually supporting organizations devoted to enhancing the community. The Fiesta Bowl contributes to more than 45 charities each year.

How Success is Measured
Every year is a success in a different way. The committee has been fortunate to have a sell-out in 23 of the past 24 Tostitos Fiesta Bowls and host six national championship games. The Insight Bowl continues to

grow and it's an honor to be partnered with the Big 12 and Big Ten conferences in that game. The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, Insight Bowl and year-round events provide an economic boost to the local economy and all

of its events give people of all ages and backgrounds an opportunity to participate. Some years they’ve got double-overtime thrillers and some years there are blowouts. However, their annual goal is to provide the best hospitality and experience possible for all of its customers, which includes the teams, fans, media, administrators and participants in all events.

MVP of the Bowl
It would be impossible to single one person out. The Fiesta Bowl and Insight Bowl have more than 3,000 volunteers, led this year chairman Dave Tilson, who give a great deal of time and effort in their respective areas. Some are involved with the bowl games, some with the parade, and some with the band championship. All are part of the Fiesta Bowl family and an integral part of the organizations.

Impact to the Community
The 2007 year that included the Insight Bowl, Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, and Tostitos BCS National Championship Game generated an economic impact of $401.7 million to the state's economy, according to the ASU W.P. Carey School of Business. In non-championship years, the games generate approximately $200 million to the state’s economy and have generated more than $2 billion to the state's economy over the last 37 years.

Role of Volunteers
As stated above, the Fiesta Bowl, which also oversees the Insight Bowl, was started by volunteers and is successful because of its volunteers.  They are the most dedicated group of individuals an organization could ever have, and they continue to raise the bar each and every year.

Chick-fil-A Bowl

Best Non-Game Event
The Chick-fil-A Bowl presents its events believing that the players should live, learn, and laugh during bowl week. The laughter often comes during the Georgia Power Football Feud, a game show involving each program’s players and coaches. Both schools fill out questionnaires before the event, providing the survey results for a Family Feud-style event and a very popular night every December. The learning portion of the week occurs when each school visits the Martin Luther King Center. It’s often an emotional and insightful time when players are exposed to the museum and the childhood home of Dr. King.

Player Gift Package

Players on both teams will receive a $300 Best Buy gift card, a travel bag, a commemorative watch, and a Chick-fil-A football and gift card.

Charitable Component
The charitable arm of the Chick-fil-A Bowl is one area where the bowl is most passionate. In terms of scholarships and gift-giving, it donates more money than any other bowl game by a wide margin. More than $1 million will be donated this year alone, all in cash proceeds. The organization supports and funds youth football programs that affect approximately 20,000 athletes annually. It’s also the single largest supporter of the Play It Smart, aimed at preparing student-athletes on and away from the field.

How Success is Measured
This year will be the 12th consecutive sell-out for the Chick-fil-A Bowl, which looks at high ratings and a competitive game as givens. At the end of bowl week, the committee strives to hear from the players, coaches, and fans that they enjoyed every aspect of the bowl experience and took part in an event that they’ll remember for a lifetime.

MVP of the Bowl
The bowl considers the Chick-fil-A organization to be its MVP. At the core of the relationship, they’re a title partner not a title sponsor. The bowl meets with the Chick-fil-A sports marketing division once a month to discuss all major decisions. Chick-fil-A does so much more than just write a check. They provide ideas and leverage in a total team effort. The game wouldn’t be where it is today without the year-round support from Chick-fil-A.

Impact to the Community
The Atlanta Sports Council measures economic impact of various events, and consistently places the Chick-fil-A Bowl in the $30-$35 million range annually to the greater Atlanta region.

Role of Volunteers
The bowl has a tremendous volunteer base that includes 400-450 individuals each year. Within that group, there are almost two dozen that have been affiliated with the game for 30 years or more. With a staff of just 12 paid employees and four interns, the Chick-fil-A Bowl would not operate without a group of volunteers who really take pride in how they represent Atlanta and the game itself.

Outback Bowl

Best Non-Game Event

The Outback Bowl sponsors no shortage of exciting events for the players and the fans. Team Day at Busch Gardens is where the teams enjoy the theme park and fans can ride a rollercoaster with the players and coaches. On Beach Day in Clearwater Beach, the marching bands perform on the sand. The cheerleaders take part in a tug-of-war contest, there are sky divers, a pie eating contest, and live bands. The fans always love this event. Finally, the bowl has a New Year's Eve Parade in Ybor City, the historic Latin district of Tampa. It attracts 40,000 spectators, who come to see as many as 20 high school and college bands and numerous floats. 

Player Gift Package
Players from both teams will receive a custom ring from Jostens, a Fossil watch, and a Pure Digital Flip Mini Camcorder.

Charitable Component
There’s no designated charity, other than the $6.4 million contributed to the conference schools. The Outback Bowl does donate tickets and other items to numerous local charities throughout the year for their fundraisers, and often hires charity groups to work the game so they can raise money for their cause.

How Success is Measured
The Outback Bowl is in place to generate an economic impact, showcase the region to the nation and the world, and provide a unique and quality major national sporting event for the residents of West Central Florida. The bowl feels it accomplishes these goals every year, though some years see even more impact or exposure than others. When the fans and teams have a great experience, and the community benefits, the Outback Bowl has been successful.

MVP of the Bowl
Jim McVay, President and CEO of the bowl for the past 20 years, has taken the game from a fledgling newcomer, losing money and on the verge of going out of business, to one of the premier non-BCS bowls in the country, with the seventh highest payout of 34 games.

Impact to the Community
The annual economic impact is estimated at $40 million, but the millions of dollars of exposure, both nationally and internationally is just as important to this area where tourism is the number one industry.

Role of Volunteers
The bowl has hundreds of volunteers who serve on the board and various committees. They’re key to  helping generate support for the game from the community by opening doors for us to sell local sponsorships and ticket packages.

Capital One 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 it’s 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.     

Gator Bowl 

Best Non-Game Event
One of the most talked about events that players and fans seem to enjoy is their day at Adventure Landing where they can enjoy many outdoor activities, such as go-karts, miniature golf and indoor games, like laser tag and arcade games. Fans get to mingle with their teams and have the opportunity to get autographs from their favorite players.

Player Gift Package
Players in this year’s game will receive a Bulova watch, luggage, Oakley Thumps, and a commemorative hat.

Charitable Component
The Konica Minolta Gator Bowl falls under the umbrella of the Gator Bowl Association. The Gator Bowl Association’s primary charitable activities are focused on education and youth in the North Florida area.  Gator Bowl charitable recipients include: Take Stock in Children Scholarship Program, Wolfson Children’s Hospital, Boselli “Celebrate Youth” Scholarship, First Coast Schools, Pop Warner Scholarship, and Dreams Come True.

How Success is Measured
The primary goal of the Konica Minolta Gator Bowl is to showcase the city of Jacksonville to the teams and fans of both universities playing in the game. The bowl strives to conduct first-class events and provide a first-class experience for these individuals. Success can be measured in many ways, but the committee is most proud when it hears players, coaches, and fans state it was one of the best bowls they’ve been to.

MVP of the Bowl
Since there are over 700 volunteers that work on 33 events the Gator Bowl Associations hosts year round, including the Konica Minolta Gator Bowl, it’s difficult to single out one individual who is indispensable. The association’s leadership is also made up of area businessmen and women who volunteer their time and energy to oversee all aspects of the group, including the bowl game from the Executive Committee level.  The most coveted position would be the chairman, who is selected to serve a one-year term at the helm.  Brian Goin, Vice President of the PGA Tour, is this year’s Chairman of the Gator Bowl Association.

Impact to the Community
The Konica Minolta Gator Bowl draws from 30,000 to 35,000 out-of-town fans, who stay an average of two nights, resulting in a direct economic impact of $12.5 million for the city of Jacksonville and the North Florida area.

Role of Volunteers
The Gator Bowl Association has more than 700 volunteers, who work countless hours throughout the year to insure the Konica Minolta Gator Bowl and its related events are successful and conducted in a first-class manner. The bowl has volunteers, who represent all walks of life from businessmen to college students.  Their responsibilities can range from greeters, university hosts, parade marshals, and giant helium balloon handlers to event set-up and game day runners. It’s to their credit that the Konica Minolta Gator Bowl reaps its rewards.

Rose Bowl

Best Non-Game Event
For players, the two events surrounding their bowl week experience special to the Rose Bowl are the Disneyland Welcome Press Conference and Lawry's Beef Bowl. Upon arrival to the Los Angeles area, the head coach and players from each team are welcomed at Disneyland with a press conference and then given the opportunity to roam throughout the parks (Disneyland and California). For the players involved in the press conference, typically around five per team, Disneyland escorts take them to the front of the line for VIP treatment. These players certainly are most popular on the team that day. The welcome experience concludes at ESPN Zone on Disney property for food and games. Lawry's Beef Bowl is annually hosted by Lawry's The Prime Rib in Beverly Hills, honoring the players and coaches of the Rose Bowl. Since its inception in 1957, teams are treated to a VIP experience and a friendly challenge of consuming as much meat at possible. Over the years, it has become known as one of college football's most enduring pre-bowl game traditions, inseparably linked to The Granddaddy of Them All.  

For fans, the Rose Parade would certainly be the most popular event surrounding the Rose Bowl Game.  Known as the premier parade in the world, spectators at the Rose Parade experience the beautiful pageantry and tradition of magnificent floral floats, high-stepping equestrians, and spirited marching bands.  This year will be the 120th Rose Parade.

Player Gift Package
Players from each team will receive a Sony DVD Camcorder, a commemorative Fossil watch, a commemorative OGIO Backpack, a commemorative New Era 59Fifty fitted hat, a commemorative plaque, a commemorative autographed football, and a one-year subscription to ESPN The Magazine.

Charitable Component
Established in 1983, the Tournament of Roses Foundation is a non-profit corporation that manages charitable contributions on behalf of the Tournament of Roses. Grants are awarded under the categories of performing and visual arts, sports and recreation. and volunteer motivation and leadership development.  The 2008 Tournament of Roses Foundation grant recipient’s awards range from $1,200 to $10,000. This year, 24 civic, educational and cultural organizations were funded.

Teams participating in the Rose Bowl also have the option to participate in a charity event during their stay in Los Angeles. The Rose Bowl Game works with each team to assist in arranging in a charity event. 

How Success is Measured
The Rose Bowl Game is proud of its partnership with the Big Ten and Pac-10 Conferences. As the oldest agreement between a bowl game and two major conferences, each year, the Rose Bowl Game focuses on several goals to help determine success based on results. A positive partnership impact, the economic impact, television ratings, and game played on the field serve as the measuring sticks.  In a non-national championship year, the estimated economic impact on the Pasadena community is $58.6 million. A New Year's Day game and outstanding tradition have afforded the Rose Bowl Game great television ratings and they prefer a minimum of 10.0. Ideally, anything between 12-14 is considered outstanding.

The game on the field is obviously the one key goal that is out of the committee’s hands.  The Rose Bowl wants a good match-up and one that the outcome is determined in the fourth quarter, with a final score within a seven-point margin.  The combination of these factors play into the success they achieve with their partner conferences.  At the end of each season they review these goals and measure the overall success of the game. 

MVP of the Bowl
There are a significant number of moving parts to staging a bowl game. To single out one person is difficult, as the elements involved in the operation and execution are extensive. The Rose Bowl works as a team in governance and management, with the TEAM being the most important element.

Impact to the Community
The Rose Bowl Game and Rose Parade have become staples of the holiday season in Pasadena, as the community showcases to the world the tradition and passion associated with both New Year's Day events.  Pasadena has put itself on the map nationally and internationally as hosts to the game and parade and the financial impact alone is extremely significant.

Role of Volunteers
The role of volunteers with the Rose Bowl Game is two-fold.  First is the oversight of providing policy with relationship associated with the game and second is the capacity to serve as hosts to the visiting teams, conferences and media members. As a non-profit organization, the role of volunteers is essential and vital to the success of the Tournament of Roses.

Orange Bowl

Best Non-Game Event
Through the years, the Orange Bowl has been know for its halftime spectacular. It has evolved from elaborate floats and light shows into national headline acts. Long before the Super Bowl halftime shows, you had the Orange Bowl halftime shows. Of course, players can't necessarily witness it, so for them it's probably the Team Beach Parties, as South Florida can offer something very few other Bowl sites can, with its beachfront hotels.

Player Gift Package
Players from each team will receive a Sony Electronics Gifting Suite, which permits them to select Sony electronics up to a $300 value, Tourneau watch, an Ogio Back Pack/Duffle, a New Era fitted cap, customized Crocs, a Blockbuster Video Rental Subscription, and customized luggage tags.

Charitable Component
While there isn't an annual charity that benefits from the game, the Orange Bowl Committee is involved in strong community outreach throughout the year. It holds a pair of annual fund-raising events that raise money for college scholarships, and also subsidizes, through donations and grants, the Orange Bowl Youth Football Alliance, which supports 16,000 youth football players and cheerleaders in eight leagues across eight different South Florida counties. Also, this year in honor of its 75th anniversary, the Orange Bowl is presenting a $2.5 million legacy gift, which has been matched by the City of Miami, to the City to rebuild a youth/high school football field, track and other park amenities. The total project will cost $5.65 million and is located at Moore Park, site of the 1933 and 1934 Palm Festival, which was the forerunner of the Orange Bowl. During game week, teams also make hospital visits, distributing toys and gifts.

How Success is Measured
There are a variety of measurements ranging from the satisfaction the schools, athletic departments and student-athletes received from participating and visiting, to selling out Dolphin Stadium, bringing visitors into the South Florida community, and positive customer service surveys.

MVP of the Bowl
The Orange Bowl is so reliant on a large group of people, from its volunteer Orange Bowl Committee members to its relatively small full and part-time paid staff to the thousands of volunteers that assist, that it's hard to find one most indispensable person. If anything, the glue that holds all those parts together is CEO Eric Poms, who has been with the organization for the last 15 years.

Impact to the Community
When the Orange Bowl hosted the National Championship in 2005, the estimated economic impact was approximately $200 million. With two games this year—the FedEx Orange Bowl and FedEx BCS National Championship—it anticipates something near what New Orleans reported from last year’s double-hosting, which was $400 million.

The impact of the Orange Bowl Committee on the community is even far more reaching. More than 16,000 young football players and cheerleaders participate and benefit from the Orange Bowl Youth Football Alliance, which reaches eight counties in South Florida. It also provides strong community outreach through scholarships and grants. Additionally, several Orange Bowl Festival events support tourism through sporting events other than football. More than 1,000 young tennis players from 80 countries compete annually in one of the world’s most prestigious junior events: the Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships. Another 600 youngsters, sailors from around the nation and eight foreign countries annually make the voyage to Miami to compete in the Orange Bowl Sailing Regatta Series. And the Orange Bowl Basketball Classic is celebrating its 15th anniversary this December.

Role of Volunteers
Volunteers are vital to the success of the Orange Bowl. The Orange Bowl Committee is made up of 333 volunteers, many of whom put in hundreds of hours hosting teams, media, university  and conference officials and orchestrating events. In addition, there’s another even larger group of Orange Bowl Ambassadors, who volunteer to help in a variety of ways to make sure everything runs smoothly. Without the support of the members and Ambassadors, it would be virtually impossible to have become the success that the Orange Bowl has become.

- Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3