Are The 2010 Konica Minolta Gator Bowl Sponsors Stingy and Tight-Wads?

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Inferior, nominal, shabby, and cheap are the words that come to my mind when I think of the gifts being given to the FSU and WVU players participating in the Konica Minolta Gator Bowl on January 1st, especially when compared to some of the gifts being given to participants of the less "prominent" bowls.

The giving of gifts to the players and coaches of both teams participating in Bowl games is a tradition that has gone on for many years.  The Bowl game is a reward to the players for having a above average season and qualifying for a extra game in late December or early January, and the gifts are one of the perks which have long been associated with Bowl games.

According to the NCAA, bowls are permitted to give each player up to $500 worth of gifts once they arrive at the bowl site.  Some bowls allow the players to select their own gifts, often via a gift card and usually used during a team shopping spree or "party" usually at a electronics store (e.g. 2008 Champs Bowl/Best Buy last year for the FSU team).  Some Bowls give a player a "gift basket" of goodies which will usually include some type of electronic gadget, along with a couple of other items such as a watch or ring, sunglasses or apparel, luggage or backpack, and/or a miscellaneous item (i.e. commemorative football, food gift card, plaque, recliner, or some other memorabilia). 

Of course, the total amount of the gift(s) is entirely up the bowl sponsors and the bowl committee.

Recently, the combination of gift certificate/team shopping spree, the gift suites, or allowing players to pick out their own gifts from a catalog, has become increasingly popular and is now being used by the majority of the bowls. 

The Florida based Capital One and Champs Sports bowls, both organized by Florida Citrus Sports, were among the first to allow the players to pick their gifts.

"We're somewhat widely credited for gift suites and a shopping spree," said Steve Hogan, CEO of Florida Citrus Sports. "We kind of said, 'Look, it just doesn't make sense to kind of guess on an electronic item, a branded item and just guess what kids want.' "

Here are a couple of quick examples of what some of the sponsors of some of the "lesser" bowls will be giving the players and coaches upon their arrivals.

The St. Petersburg Bowl will give each player an iLuv iPod/DVD player, and an Oakley package that includes a watch, sunglasses and a backpack.

The R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl will give each player a Pure Digital mini cam-corder, a Balfour ring, and a Oakley package with Antix sunglasses and a backpack.

The Meineke Car Care Bowl will present each player with a choice of a Bose gift package or an iPod touch, speakers, and $20 gift card, along with a Fossil watch, an Ogio duffle bag, and a commemorative photo from the Richard Petty Driving experience.

The Emerald Bowl will be giving away Hewlett Packard mini netbooks, which are basically small laptops, in addition to a Fossil watch.

The EagleBank Bowl will giving players a Slingbox SOLO with Slinglink Turbo 1 Port, which is a device that allows users to watch TV on a computer or mobile phone, and a Powermat, which is a wireless charging station for cell phone, a hat, football, and tailgate blanket.

Participants in the Texas Bowl will be receiving a $300 Best Buy gift card, a Fossil Watch, Under Amour shirt, hat and backpack, and a Bowl T-Shirt and Belt Buckle.

For a bowl game that sold out in 2 hours, the Konica Minolta Gator Bowl's package pales in comparison to many other bowls.  The words I used to lead off this story are the ones that come to mind once again when I see what the players and coaches from FSU and WVU will be receiving this year.

Hold on to your hats, or better yet, maybe the players should grab their ankles, because the giant multi-national Imaging Company, Konica Minolta, and the 2009 Gator Bowl committee, have generously decided to grace these athletes presence in Jacksonville, by giving each participant,  

wait for it,

A Fossil watch and Oakley Antix sunglasses.

IMAO, I find these gifts laughable and inexcusable. 

What do you think?  Please vote below. 

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Hit the jump to see how the other Bowls sponsors and committees are putting the Konica Minolta Gator Bowl to shame by at least making an effort to get as close to the NCAA maximum of $500 as possible, or at least by giving  these young men some electronics or gift cards to show their appreciation for their participation.  After all, isn't this the season for giving, and the sold out Konica Minolta Gator Bowl should be showering our players with gifts upon their arrival.

SOURCE:  Sports Business Journal 

2009 Bowl gifts to participants

 

Bowl
Electronics
Watch/Ring
Apparel/Sunglasses
Luggage
Other
New Mexico
Dec. 19, 4:30 p.m., Albuquerque, N.M., ESPN Sony gift suite   Oakley beanie, Oakley Antix sunglasses Ogio wheeled garment bag, Oakley Surf Pack backpack  
St. Petersburg
Dec. 19, 8 p.m., St. Petersburg, Fla., ESPN iLuv iPod/DVD player Oakley Holeshot 3-Hand watch Oakley Eyepatch sunglasses Oakley Surf Pack backpack  
R&L Carriers New Orleans
Dec. 20, 8:15 p.m., New Orleans, ESPN Pure Digital Flip mini-camcorder Balfour ring Oakley Antix sunglasses Oakley Panel Packbackpack  
MAACO Las Vegas
Dec. 22, 8 p.m., Las Vegas, ESPN Sony gift suite Fossil watch New Era cap Ogio Fugitive laptop pack  
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia
Dec. 23, 8 p.m., San Diego, ESPN Flo TV television, 1-year of service; Best Buy gift card Tourneau watch Sports Tek hooded sweatshirt, cap    
Sheraton Hawaii
Dec. 24, 8 p.m., Honolulu, ESPN     Kahala Aloha shirt    
Little Caesars Pizza
Dec. 26, 1 p.m., Detroit, ESPN Sony gift suite Timely Watch Co. watch     Football
Meineke Car
Care Dec. 26, 4:30 p.m., Charlotte, ESPN Choice of Bose gift packages or iPod touch, speakers and $20 gift card Fossil watch   Ogio duffle bag Commemorative Richard Petty Driving Experience photo
Emerald
Dec. 26, 8 p.m., San Francisco, ESPN   Fossil watch      
Gaylord Hotels Music City
Dec. 27, 8:30 p.m., Nashville, ESPN RCA HD camcorder Fossil watch Majestic fleece pullover,New Era hat Ogio Metro laptop pack  
AdvoCare V100 Independence
Dec. 28, 5 p.m., Shreveport, La., ESPN2 Sony gift suite Timely Watch Co. watch New Era hat   Football
EagleBank
Dec. 29, 4:30 p.m., Washington, D.C., ESPN Slingbox SOLO with Slinglink Turbo 1 Port, Powermat charging station   Visions Marketing Hat   Football, Kanata tailgate blanket
Champs Sports
Dec. 29, 8 p.m., Orlando, ESPN Party at Best Buy($420 limit) Timely Watch Co. watch      
Roadys Humanitarian
Dec. 30, 4:30 p.m., Boise, Idaho, ESPN Sony gift suite, Garmin GPS   Parka, Nike pullover, gloves, hand warmers, skull cap Ogio Fugitive laptop pack Football
Pacific Life Holiday
Dec. 30, 8 p.m., San Diego, ESPN Flo TV personal television (includes one-year of service), Best Buy gift card Tourneau watch Sports Tek hooded sweatshirt, cap    
Bell Helicopter Armed Forces
Dec. 31, Noon, Fort Worth, Texas, ESPN Sony gift suite Timely Watch Co. watch Camouflaged knit cap Ogio Metro laptop pack, luggage tag Football, calendar
Brut Sun
Dec. 31, 2 p.m., El Paso, Texas, CBS Sony gift suite Timely Watch Co. watch Majestic fleece pullover, VP Sports cap Ogio Politan laptop pack Brut hair dryer; coin
Texas
Dec. 31, 3:30 p.m., Houston, ESPN $300 Best Buy gift card Fossil watch Under Armour shirt and hat; Bowl T-shirt Under Armour backpack Belt buckle
Insight
Dec. 31, 6 p.m., Tempe, Ariz., NFL Network Sony gift suite Fossil watch Hat Ogio Bounty Hunter or Hermit laptop pack  
Chick-fil-A
Dec. 31, 7:30 p.m., Atlanta, ESPN $250 Best Buy gift card Fossil watch Russell Athletic knit cap Russell Athletic travel bag Football, Chick-fil-A gift card
Outback
Jan. 1, 11 a.m., Tampa, ESPN Best Buy gift card Pro-Swiss watch, Jostens ring Hat   Outback Steakhouse gift card
Capital One
Jan. 1, 1 p.m., Orlando, ABC Party at Best Buy($420 limit) Timely Watch Co. watch      
Konica Minolta Gator
Jan. 1, 1 p.m., Jacksonville, CBS   Fossil watch Oakley Antix sunglasses    
Rose Bowl presented by Citi
Jan. 1, 4:30 p.m., Pasadena, Calif., ABC 19 Sharp television combo Fossil watch New Era 59Fifty fitted hat Ogio Fugitive laptop pack Plaque
Allstate Sugar
Jan. 1, 8:30 p.m., New Orleans, Fox Sony, Apple, Trek, Garmin and Weber gift suite Timely Watch Co. watch New Era cap Ogio Politan laptop pack Lane recliner
INTernational
Jan. 2, Noon, Toronto, ESPN2 Electronics package Timely Watch Co. watch     Football
Papajohns.com
Jan. 2, 2 p.m., Birmingham, Ala., ESPN RCA HD mini-camcorder     Oakley Surf Pack backpack  
AT&T Cotton
Jan. 2, 2 p.m., Arlington, Texas, Fox Would Not Disclose        
AutoZone Liberty
Jan. 2, 5:30 p.m., Memphis, Tenn., ESPN Westinghouse 19 LCD HDTV/computer monitor Fossil watch Nike training shoes, Nike sport sandals, Nike sunglasses   Football
Valero Alamo
Jan. 2, 9 p.m., San Antonio, ESPN 32-gig iPod Touch, Dr. Dre Monster Beats headphones Fossil watch Oakley Antix sunglasses   Shutt mini-helmet,panoramic photo
Tostitos Fiesta
Jan. 4, 8 p.m., Glendale, Ariz., Fox Sony gift suite Fossil watch,Tourneau watch Hat Ogio Hermit checkpoint friendly laptop pack  
FedEx Orange
Jan. 5, 8 p.m., Miami, Fox Sony gift suite Tourneau watch New Era cap Ogio Politan laptop pack  
GMAC
Jan. 6, 7 p.m., Mobile, Ala., ESPN RCA HD mini-camcorder Timely Watch Co. watch Cap Garment bag with dop kit Football
Citi BCS National Championship
GameJan. 7, 8 p.m., Pasadena, Calif., ABC Sony gift suite with Trek and Garmin Fossil watch New Era 59Fifty hat Ogio Politan laptop pack  
Notes: All times listed are ET. Product details are provided as they were available. Most watches, rings, clothing and luggage are custom-made with the bowl logo. Gift suites are set up as private events in which game participants, and often bowl VIPs, are given an order form and allowed to select a gift, or gifts, up to a value that is predetermined by each specifi c bowl, not to exceed the NCAA limit of $500 per person.
Sources: Bowl committees and vendors
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