By ALAN SNEL
There have been some attention-grabbing title sponsorships for college bowl games such as the Poulan Weed-Eater Independence Bowl, but the organizers of the 2017 Las Vegas Bowl are negotiating with a company in a more sedate category.
The Las Vegas Bowl hopes to cut a deal with a national bank brand this year and have the deal last at least three or four years so that the bank can enjoy the sponsorship activation fruits of having the college game played at the new Raiders stadium when that venue opens in 2020.
LVSportsBiz.com caught up with John Saccenti, Las Vegas Bowl executive director, Thursday when the bowl held its annual luncheon for local sports and business movers and shakers at Vynyl restaurant at the Hard Rock.
The Las Vegas Bowl has had a host of title sponsors. It was called the SEGA Sports Las Vegas Bowl in 2001 and 2002 before the Pioneer Corp, bought the title sponsorship from 2003-08. Then the bowl contest was called the Maaco Bowl Las Vegas from 2009-2012. The last title sponsor was Royal Purple, an oil and vehicle lubricant company, which had the title sponsorship from 2013-15.
Last year, there was a presenting sponsor as the game was called the Las Vegas Bowl presented by GEICO.
Typically, title sponsors of college bowl games use the contests to promote their products and give tickets to valuable clients and customers.
Saccenti declined to identify the bank he’s negotiating with. But if it’s Bank of America, it would have a financial tie to the the new Raiders $1.8 billion domed stadium because Bank of America is helping the Raiders finance the palatial football playground.
Saccenti said that the bank he is negotiating with has a strong local Las Vegas presence and is interested in getting into the college football market.
He mentioned it’s hard to sign up local companies as title sponsors because Las Vegas is not a big corporate town outside of the major players on the Strip such as MGM Resorts International and Las Vegas Sands Corp.
The 26th annual college bowl game, which will be played at Sam Boyd Stadium Dec. 16, is an ESPN property and provides sports programming during the holiday season when the college bowl games are decent ratings generators.
Contact LVSportsBiz.com writer/founder Alan Snel at asnel@LVSportsBiz.com