When it absolutely, positively has to be sponsored all season…

Jeez, talk about the tail wagging the dog here -

FedEx has informed ESPN that it will not renew its entitlement of the Orange Bowl, ending a 21-year association with the Bowl Championship Series event. The move ends what was the longest-running title sponsorship of a BCS game.

For more than two decades as an Orange Bowl sponsor, the game became FedEx’s biggest annual hospitality event, with the company entertaining as many as 700 customers over three to four days in Miami.

While the game itself was important to FedEx, the company was not interested in a larger college football platform. ESPN is reserving bowl game entitlements for companies that buy a lengthy and more expensive college football package starting in September.

ESPN is reserving?  What does that mean in practical terms?

… ESPN has hit the market with the Orange Bowl’s title sponsorship and has begun negotiations with other brands.

“We are in active discussions around the Orange Bowl, which is a premier property and presents a tremendous marketing opportunity. FedEx remains an important client and we continue to be engaged with them in other areas,” ESPN’s president of customer marketing and sales Ed Erhardt said in a statement e-mailed by ESPN PR.

The network, which will be carrying the BCS games for the first time next year and is selling all sponsorship and advertising inventory, is seeking around $20 million annually over four years for a new title deal that includes ad commitments, sources said.

The WWL is doing the same with the other BCS bowls, too.  So at this point, it’s cut deals with the bowls and the SEC.  It brokers games between schools.  And now it’s lining up the game’s biggest sponsors.

It seems to me that the people lobbying Congress and the NCAA to force a playoff are pitching the wrong folks.  ESPN has more clout than either.  Or both, for that matter.

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9 Comments

Filed under ESPN Is The Devil

9 responses to “When it absolutely, positively has to be sponsored all season…

  1. Ben Rockwell

    I am beginning to loathe ESPN. If I could find some way to watch the Dawgs without having to have to support ESPN, I’d jump on it.

  2. Rum-Dawg Millionaire

    That bothers me on an anti-establishment level. ESPN seems like they are controlling absolutely everything.

  3. Chuck

    ESPN was great until Disney bought it. It was wild, clever, irreverent, interesting, and also, unfortunately, more or less broke. But the devil here isn’t ESPN, per se, it’s Disney.

  4. My anti- ESPN sentiments go back several years. I do not see that ever changing.

  5. Dawgfan17

    To make ESPN better someone needs to come out that truly competes with them. I think Fox Sports has the best shot but they don’t seem to be fully committed to it. They pick and choose a few areas but haven’t truly tried to go toe to toe. Comcast might if they acquire NBC but that is yet to be seen. Then again a few years ago at the KY Derby weekend a few friends of mine and I convinced one of their execs that I had a show on ESPN…long story but if they aren’t any brighter than that they might not have a chance. More so than putting down ESPN I would just love for other networks to step up and truly compete as 24/7 sports programming.

  6. Vious

    Georgia Tech showed them how worthless a bowl game can be for them

  7. dboy

    If you control the money, you are the power. ESPN is the dominant force in CFB if you follow the money trail. How much was that SEC – ESPN television deal worth again? Hello, E$PN