Monday, May 3, 2010

No More "Fed Ex" Orange Bowl?

Is this a sign of the times or a sign that things are a changing?

FED EX bows out of the Orange Bowl Sponsorship.

The report in the Sports Business Journal said that FedEx informed ESPN it is bowing out of its sponsorship because the company didn't want a larger season-long sponsorship platform in college football, which is being asked of all BCS sponsors.

Huh....I thought that college football was the hottest thing out there...NASCAR has waned in recent years...the NFL is struggling for viewership. Why wouldn't someone want to keep an alliance, supposedly successful, after all, Fed Ex has sponsored the Orange for 21 years!

If you read the entire short announcement, the answer lies within the last two paragraphs, which should have been in the first paragraph:

Renewals for sponsorships in the other major bowl games (Fiesta Bowl/Tostitos; Sugar Bowl/Allstate; Rose Bowl/Citi) are ongoing, the Journal reported. All of the title sponsorship deals ended after last season.

The Orange Bowl has struggled in ratings recently. The 2009 game between Virginia Tech and Cincinnati drew a 5.4 rating, the lowest ever for a BCS game.

Uh, see it, sports fans? The Orange Bowl, which is now shown on January 2nd, the DAY AFTER all the other bowls are on, or worse, on some weeknight after the world has gone back to work, has seen the lowest ratings of all the BCS games. Think it has anything to do with the night it's televised? Uh, Yeah, maybe? And you can bet that there has been some discussion about moving the Orange to another time slot to improve ratings, but who is going to take the hit and move to another night? Think that might be the reason no one else has signed a long term deal yet, either?

My guess is I'm right.

The solution to me, anyway, seems simple. Put the Orange Bowl back on New Year's Day. Get Fox and ABC to work out an every other year deal as to who broadcasts the Sugar and Orange. Start the Orange a little later and start the Sugar a little earlier. Sorry Mr. Rose, but your exclusivity isn't that big a deal anymore. And you can start around 1:00 PM PT (4:00 EST). If the Sugar started at 7:00 and the Orange started at 9:00, you'd have a pretty good crossover viewership on the other station.

And then the fans would get a choice(like they used to) on New Year's Day if one of those games is a stinker....

So, the question is, who are they going to get to sponsor it?

Home Depot owns ESPN Game Day...

Lowe's anyone?

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