For The Love of Football: How Corporate Sponsors Are Staying in the Game

‘Tis the season for college football and bowl game madness. With extra media and television exposure brings forward brand awareness and money, a lot of money. There are veteran brands that have been partnering with the NCAA for years, as well as new brands trying to get their name out there.

What are the outcomes from investing millions of dollars per year to have your name on a bowl game or a trophy? As the BCS Championship system comes to a close this year, let’s wrap up how these major companies have made millions in return from college football fans around the nation.

Good Hands with Allstate

Proud and long lasting sponsor for college football, Allstate insurance has been a part of the game since early 2005. Since their “Good Hands” field goal net was introduced to the NCAA they have helped raise more than $3 million dollars in donations towards college scholarship funding.

On top of their “Good Hands” program, Allstate has hosted the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans for eight years. Targeting the college fan base has allowed their campaigns to spread nationwide on their Tailgate Tour. Allstate’s idea of connecting with the greater need of funding scholarships and recognizing players for their community outreach has attracted the public’s attention. In 2013 alone Allstate earned $132 million in exposure.

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Nissan for Heisman

Not only is Nissan a sponsoring partner for the annual BCS games, they have gone above and beyond securing their spot as the “Premier Partner” with the Heisman Trophy Trust and the Heisman Trophy Award at least until 2016.

The “Heisman House” commercials featuring the Heisman Trophy and 11 former winners has been a hit for the past two years and has created a lasting connection with people who are not only passionate about their alma matter but also their car choices.

Vizio National Championship

As a major name in NCAA football sponsorships, Vizio has been a partner with the Tournament of Roses since 2010. Their current contract will come to an end in January when they host the 2014 BCS National Championship game in Pasadena, California.

Looking at numbers, I would say the Vizio advertising team made a wise decision. Vizio’s combined media exposure for being the title sponsor of the largest event in college football has them projected for well over $200 million.

ESPN’s “Megacast”

With the media industry evolving and social engagement being a key takeaway for consumers, ESPN has created a new way to watch college football. As the #1 Florida State Seminoles take on the #2 Auburn Tigers on January 6, football fans will now be able to watch the game six different ways.

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Traditional viewing is expected to have the most traffic but the ESPN team is excited to offer more modern ways of watching the big game. Consumers are all about involvement in today’s market. The online service ESPN3 will feature team-specific coverage. Each team’s radio broadcast will play with isolation cameras on their home sideline as well as live fan reactions from watch parties around the Seminoles and Tigers hometowns. We can expect Twitter to take a huge jump in activity that night with all of the direct consumer coverage.

End of an Era

As the year winds down, companies tend to take a glance at their year in marketing and spending. They also look at how the market has changed in the past year and where it is evolving to next year. The NCAA regulates bowl sponsorships and advertising in order to appeal to the consumer, a smart pull by the organization, to avoid conflicts of interest.

Next year college football will roll out the long awaited Playoff System. This will bring new opportunities to businesses looking for advertising and marketing in the sports sector. As the new change is also likely to bring in millions of added dollars for the different towns in which championship games will be played in. What kinds of changes do you see happening in the marketing aspect surrounding the college football fan-base?

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