Discover and Tostitos are out with the BCS system. The two companies have told ESPN they are ending their title sponsorship and not continuing into the playoff era.
Capital One is in the final stages of filling Discover’s place as the Orange Bowl Sponsor, but as of now, ESPN is still seeking to replace Tostitos’ place as the Fiesta Bowl sponsor.
Discovers duration of four seasons with the Orange Bowl pales in comparison to Tostitos, which has spent 18 years in association with the Fiesta Bowl. The Sports Business Journal cites “industry sources”, that say Tostitos’ deperature comes as a great surprise.
However, Capital One’s involvement does not.
The company is already a sponsor of Capital One Bowl Week, while also sponsoring the Orlando-based bowl formerly called the Citrus Bowl.
As always, money probably has something to do with it. Tradition in sports often undergoes change because of the business of sports. During the BCS, the annual sponsorship deals ran from $15 to 20 million, a source told staff writers at SportsBusinessDaily.com.
However, this year, it is expected to reach $25 million a year, and ESPN wants a six-year commitment. The hype surrounding the college football playoffs is incurring a steep price. With all of the excitement and buzz surrounding the brand news system, ESPN has every right to demand more money.
And while monetary value does not necessarily indicate fan value, this is a fairly overt way of indicating that the new system will be better for fans.
The two bowls are in a six-bowl CFP, which will rotate the two semi-final games every year.
April’s Rose Bowl sponsorship move from Vizio to Northwestern Mutual served as an indicator that the playoff system would incur off-the-field changes in college football.