Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Surfeit Bowl

This morning’s Sports section displayed the annual list of college football matchups, along with the marketing schemes that make them sound ridiculous. Yes, there’s the annual Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA – this year, USC vs Texas (yeah!). Stunning in its simplicity.

Alas, the equally iconic Bowl games of yesteryear have gained sponsors: the SBC Cotton Bowl, the FedEx Orange Bowl, the Nokia Sugar Bowl.

Sponsorships have taken over. I counted 23 brand-sponsored Bowl games, which is great news for football fans, although it’s getting too crowded. As a result, the ability of brands to break through the clutter is once again in doubt.

The Capital One Bowl in Orlando clearly shows what the finance company is doing with the interest I pay on my car loan. Barbara should be happy with the Toyota Bowl (though I suspect not)...she thinks of her car as a Prius. Our town gets the EV1.Net Houston Bowl.

Wretched excess reigns. The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. The GMAC Bowl. The Pioneer Purevision Las Vegas Bowl. The trunk-falling-down-stairs San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl. Champs Sports Bowl. Sheraton Hawaii Bowl. Insight Bowl.

Alongside the Japanese cars, there’s the Autozone Liberty Bowl and the classic Meineke Car Car Bowl matchup between Clemson and South Florida. Eaters get their special events: the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl and the Outback Bowl. Perhaps my favorite in an old-fashioned, ducktail-haircut sense: The Vitalis Sun Bowl. I didn’t know Vitalis was still on the market, but with my thinning hair, why would I?

This theme’s hardly played out. At the risk of fulfilling prophecies, look for the US Postal Service Bowl (now that USPS is no longer sponsoring a cycling team) – it’s first-class. The Funland Miniature Golf Courses Bowl. The Chinese-flavored Golden Wok Bowl. The Drs. Hemphill & Goldfine Cosmetic Surgery Bowl. The Count Chockula Cereal Bowl. The Luigi’s All-You-Can-Eat Spaghetti Bowl. And, following Signalwriter’s post about the collegiate honor society, the Phi Beta Kappa Society Bowl.

Signalwriter will take nominations for additional post-season football game sponsorships for its readers. Meantime, check your TV Guide for local dates and times.

PS: Look for my profile photo to reappear soon. It’s just stepped out to make a list of the games it wants to watch this coming holiday season.

1 comment:

Josephine March said...

Sponsorship is a crazy thing. When I was still in PR, I helped run a press conference announcing that the Broadway Series in my city was going to henceforth be known as the Diet Coke Broadway Series. huh?? It only ended up lasting 2 seasons, thank goodness.

But my favorite sponsorship of all time was an ESPN Sport Center sponsored spot. It was a weekly piece that highlighted the most unexpected win of the week. It was called the "Pepto-Bismol Upset of the Week." How awesome is that?