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Heart Of Dallas Bowl Sets Tone For potential Cotton Bowl Title Sponsorship

Dallas Business Journal, October 21, 2014

By Candace Carlisle

You can mark sponsorship money off the wish list for one DFW college bowl game.

The new Heart of Dallas Bowl title sponsorship by Zaxby's announced Tuesday assures that game's financial future for years to come, just as its much larger counterpart — the Cotton Bowl game — is seeking a new title sponsor after Dallas-based AT&T Inc. announced last week it was pulling out of the title role.

AT&T Inc. modified its Cotton Bowl agreement to become an associate sponsor. A new Cotton Bowl deal likely will be reached before the game is played on Jan. 1, said John Alper, vice president of strategic partnership for Legends.

"The primary driver of value is, once again, the sheer number of impressions for bowls televised live on prime-time television versus a bowl game not televised, or up against other bowl games being played at the same time, could impact the sponsorship fee. There are a variety of factors figured into it," Alper told the Dallas Business Journal."

Alper said sports sponsorships have continued to be on the rise in the United States as the economy recovers and companies seek to get out in front of the players and the public.

The duration of the new Heart of Dallas Bowl title sponsorship runs for the next four years through 2017.

Last year, college football's 35 bowl games brought in nearly $100 million from their title sponsors, according to IEG research. Last year, Plano-based AdvoCare sponsored a bowl game in Shreveport, Louisiana, to the tune of $400,000 in title fees.

The Cotton Bowl game is scheduled on Jan. 1 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, before the College Football Playoff's first national championship game is played there on Jan. 12.