The Holidays are upon us and that means one thing for the sponsorship industry…College Football Bowl Season.
And, big business – 35 football games in a little over two weeks.
From the Bowl Championship Series to the smaller bowls played before the Christmas holiday, companies spend large amounts of their marketing and sponsorship dollars to gain exposure and attract new customers during the end of the college football season.
In the “good old days,” it was the Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Holiday Bowl or Peach Bowl. Nowadays, it’s the Rose Bowl presented by Vizio, the Allstate Sugar Bowl, the Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl and the Chick-Fil-A Bowl (notice Peach is no longer used). And we of course can’t forget the Little Caesars Bowl, the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl or my personal favorite, the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl.
Where did the tradition go? In the famous words of Puff Daddy: “It’s all about the Benjamins!” Of course there are a few bowls (Heart of Dallas Bowl is one) that community and the charity component are more of an important factor than just dollars, but for most, we all know what the real focus is.
But are the companies that are sponsoring these games really getting the ROI on their sponsorships? Does a company really see an increase in sales because of the bowl sponsorship or an increase in exposure in a particular market?
And do fans who attend the games really care what brand is sponsoring the game or do they just care if their team wins? Do fans partake in the activations before the game or are they too focused on tailgating?
What emotions do fans feel after a game? If their team wins, are they more likely to buy the bowl sponsor’s product because they are ecstatic their team won or on the opposite side of things, will they ban a certain product from their household because they feel disgusted their team lost. Do fans associate a positive or negative feeling towards a brand because of the game’s outcome and what is that specific emotion?
With the amount of time and money companies spend on these bowl games, I hope they are measuring their performance, not only in sales and exposure, but how fans are feeling about the specific brand.
Let the Bowl Season Begin….and oh yeah, the holiday season too! Happy Holidays!