ESPN and pro sports franchises certainly prop up the bowl system, but a closer look at one low-tier bowl game indicates that even with poor attendance sponsors can make money. Despite the ’17 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl drawing just 16,512 fans (in seats), the bowl was a success with 1.5 million watching at home on ESPN. According to the Idaho Potato Commission (IPC), a recent independent study indicated that a bowl television audience of 2 million viewers (the average for this game) equates roughly to a four-hour infomercial about Idaho potatoes; worth $13 million in media value. Even with just 75% of the anticipated audience tuning in (and that figure does not account for fans streaming), the Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) expects an ROI of over 2,000%.
Howie Long-Short: The returns have been so good, the IPC recently signed a 5-year extension worth $2.25 million to remain the title sponsor of the Boise based bowl game. What makes the IPC a sensible sponsor for this game, as opposed to the previous 5 corporations/organizations that paid to sponsor the event? The conferences tied to the game (MAC & MWC) contain schools located in 4 of the 5 states that consume the most potatoes. Know your audience!
Fan Marino: Lower-tier bowl games may struggle to put fans in the seats, but that won’t be an issue at Monday night’s championship game, projected to be the most expensive of all-time. With the game scheduled to be played at the Mercedes-Benz Dome in Atlanta, secondary market ticket prices jumped 15% following Georgia’s double OT win at the Rose Bowl and another 10% as Alabama rolled into the title game. Get in price (as of 7p EST on 1/1/18) for the game is $2,492, up 43% ($1,737) from last year and 1,133% ($202) in 2016. Looking to go to the game? TicketIQ, a leading ticket search engine, has a low-price guarantee on about 20% of listings for the game.
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