View Full Version : I Bowl! I think I have dated girls like this

12-02-2004, 08:19 PM
I think I have dated girls like this. Always want what they don't have and complain about what they got.

College SportsI-Bowl may be hard sell
Mid-American Conference teamto face Big 12 foe.
December 2, 2004
By Brian Vernellis


Independence Bowl officials will have a few challenging weeks of marketing with a Mid-American Conference team bound for Shreveport to play a Big 12 team in the Dec. 28 game at Independence Stadium.

Oklahoma State and Iowa State are the front-runners from the Big 12, but since the SEC doesn't have enough bowl-eligible teams the bowl executives are bringing in a Mid-American Conference team, bowl officials announced Wednesday.

Three MAC teams are possibilities for the game. If two Big 12 teams crack the Bowl Championship Series, then the loser of the MAC Championship Game between Toledo and Miami of Ohio will come to Shreveport and likely play Iowa State.

If one Big 12 team makes the BCS, then the I-Bowl will look at an Oklahoma State-Northern Illinois matchup.

In either scenario, one of the opponents for this year's Independence Bowl will be from a conference not familiar to local college football fans.

"We need to do a good job of educating our public on how good these MAC teams are, who've they've played with," Independence Bowl Executive Director Glen Krupica said.

"They've annually played with and beat Big 10, Big 12, SEC and ACC foes. I think they've proved they can play with these guys. Could they play with them week in and week out? Maybe not, but they've been very competitive."

The bigger sell may be to prospective sponsors. The bowl's failure to secure a title sponsor for this year's game has placed increased emphasis to find one for next year's game.

A MAC team doesn't have the same promotional punch that Big 12 and SEC teams would pack, but the bowl does have something in its favor.

"It's one game and we've got a whole history to sell," Krupica said.

A sold-out Independence Stadium would make the selling process a lot easier.

"I would have a tendency to agree with that," said Eric Wright, vice president of research and development at Joyce Julius and Associates.

"(The sponsor) will look at it from a full marketing perspective. Obviously, you want a full stadium as opposed to a half-filled or three-quarters-filled stadium. It just looks better on TV. I don't know if that's a deal breaker or not. You have to look at it as an opportunity standpoint if you're a potential sponsor and how you might be able to leverage it."

The challenge for the Independence Bowl is how to get those thousands of local fans out to the game.

"If I'm a Shreveport resident, what incentive is there for me tied to that game?" said Thomas Gamble, director of the sports business program at Northern Kentucky University.

"If I'm representing the sponsoring company, and I ask a simple question: If you want me to pay a million dollars, how are you going to generate a million dollars-plus in returns? That's a difficult question to answer."

The game may also find a tough challenge in drawing a TV audience. The game doesn't offer much early buzz that would entice the average college football fan to tune in, said Gamble.

He offered the Liberty Bowl as an example. Fans will watch to see if undefeated Boise State is as good as it is ranked in the polls (AP No. 11, Coaches No. 10)

Louisville, which has one of the most exciting offenses in the nation, was one game from playing for a BCS bid but couldn't hold off a late Miami charge.

"For bowl games it comes down to a couple of things: Is it an attractive matchup that fans, i.e. consumers, outside of the populous of the schools participating have an interest in and does it fall at a time where people are actually interested in watching it?" Gamble said.