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Bowl Games: Swag Bags And Recliners Highlight Bowl Season

Bowl GamesAlas, it’s the season many college fans have been waiting for:  College Football Bowl Season.  And tis’ the season to give, right?

In what has become a tradition, official “swag bag” lists for each bowl game have been released.

In case you are wondering, those who participate in bowl games around the country are awarded gifts, swag bags, or shopping sprees by those hosting the bowl games.

Typical merchandise this year includes Sony’s Playstation 4, Best Buy gift cards and top of the line recliners by Southern Motion.  And yes, the NCAA actually allows this.

Players, staff, VIPs, and others get rewarded for Bowl Games


The NCAA allows those participating in bowl games to be rewarded with up to $550 of merchandise and gift cards. Additionally, the 125 participant allotment may also be rewarded with an additional $400 in awards by both the school and the conference.  These additional awards are given to participants for making it to the post season.

Gift suites and shopping sprees will be given out at about half of the bowl games to be played.  Gift suites include an order sheet that is given out to participants in which they can pick and choose the products they want up to the allotted $550.

It’s notable that Southern Motion and their Viva recliners are new to the swag bag game.  The Pontotoc, Miss.-based furniture manufacturer is taking advantage of new potential market exposure, all while sticking to their more traditional business model.  Beth Loden, Southern Motion’s strategic accounts director, explains the benefits of such an opportunity:

“We do view this alliance as an avenue to do additional business through alternative channels of distribution.  We are interested in exploring this opportunity as it does not conflict with our normal business model, which is through traditional retail stores.”

Other companies, such as Oakley and Sony, have even given out products that hadn’t even been released at the time.  Oakley products will be featured in seven bowl game packages this year.  Oakley’s Mike Sterner spoke on the subject:

“We are at the end phase of the product assortment we offer the bowl games, with a new assortment of products being released in spring 2014.  So next year, you’ll see a lot more games with Oakley accessories.”

Notable Swag Bags In This Year’s Bowl Games

A few notable bowl game swag bags include the following, as explained by SportsBusinessDaily:


Vizio BCS National Championship Game 
Mon., Jan. 6, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN); Pasadena, Calif.
Gift suite; Fossil watch; New Era 59Fifty Hat; Oakley Flak Pack XL backpack (at right)

Discover Orange Bowl
Fri., Jan. 3, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN); Miami Gardens, Fla.
Gift suite; Tourneau watch

Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio
Wed., Jan. 1, 5 p.m. (ESPN); Pasadena, Calif.
Gift suite; Fossil watch; New Era 59Fifty cap; Ogio backpack

Capital One Bowl
Wed., Jan. 1, 1 p.m. (ABC); Orlando
$450 Best Buy gift card and shopping trip; Timely Watch Co. watch; Russell Athletic workout shirt

It’s evident that bowl games are providing companies with unique demographics and making it worth their while to give away products.  What do you think of this business approach?  Is this hypocritical of the NCAA?

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