published Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

Swag follows college football bowl bids

Alabama head coach Nick Saban is hugged by AJ McCarron, Barrett Jones and Cyrus Kouandjio after the BCS National Championship college football game against Notre Dame on Monday in Miami. Alabama won 42-14.
Alabama head coach Nick Saban is hugged by AJ McCarron, Barrett Jones and Cyrus Kouandjio after the BCS National Championship college football game against Notre Dame on Monday in Miami. Alabama won 42-14.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

BOWLING AND DOLLARS

Bowl organizers can give up to 125 participants from each college football team playing in the respective bowl game. According to the SportsBusiness Daily, here are some of the packages given to those in selected bowl games:

• Chick-fil-A Bowl: Fossil watch; Russell Athletic cap; Russell Athletic bag; football, $300 Visa gift card, Chick-fil-A gift card

• Capital One Bowl: Orlando $450 Best Buy gift card and shopping trip^; Timely Watch Co. watch; Russell Athletic workout shirt

• Outback Bowl: Tampa $150 Best Buy gift card; Fossil watch; cap; Jostens ring, Outback Steakhouse gift card

• Rose Bowl: Pasadena, Calif. Gift suite (shopping spree); Fossil watch; New Era 59Fifty cap; Ogio backpack

• Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Glendale, Ariz. Gift suite; Fossil watch; Ogio Cube backpack

• Allstate Sugar Bowl: New Orleans Gift suite; Fossil watch; New Era 39Thirty cap; Ogio backpack

• Discover Orange Bowl: Miami Gardens, Fla. Gift suite; Tourneau watch

• Vizio BCS National Championship: Gift suite; Fossil watch; New Era 59Fifty Hat; Oakley Flak Pack XL backpack

The college football bowl bids have been announced and while there are teams and fans that are less than thrilled with the destination of their teams, the players not involved in the annual Bowl Championship Series title game are equally focused on the swag.

That’s right, the always buttoned-down powers that be at the NCAA office allow the participants on the college football teams selected for bowl games to receive gifts from the hosts.

The NCAA-allowed-limit is $550 per player from the bowls. The schools can add another $400 worth of awards for participants and the conferences can add another $400 in swag. Hey, it’s the least they can do since the SEC league office cashed a $20-plus-million revenue check last May, right?

The bowl’s gift packages go to up to 125 members of the team, but schools can and usually buy extras for cheerleaders, staff and program VIPs. That $550 price limit is somewhat flexible in that bowl game officials can buy gifts in bulk and pass the savings along to the player. Who knew that bowl games were actually eliminating the middle man — and featured prices so low they actually are giving the stuff away.

Companies such as Oakley, Sony and Ogio backpacks are in several different gift offerings, as is Fossil watches and Best Buy gift cards. Bowl games also can offer shopping sprees provided by stores and regional sponsors.

One of the new items in this year’s swag collection is a high-tech recliner from Southern Motion Viva, which is giving a powered recliner that has two USB ports for mobile devices. The Military Bowl is passing out the recliners — and Sony PlayStation 4s — to participants, although we’re unsure how the players will get them back to campus.

Contact Jay Greeson at jgreeson@timesfreepress.com.

about Jay Greeson...

Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...

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