One of my favorite parts of bowl season is seeing what “swag” the bowls are giving out to the players. The Sports Business Daily does a great job each year with this topic. Here’s the publication’s explanation of bowl swag:
At least $5.4M will be spent on gifts that will be given to the ’14-15 bowl game participants, up 11% compared with the expenditures of a year ago. The increase is fueled in part by the addition of several new bowls. In addition, two-thirds of the bowl game committees will be staging the increasingly popular gift suites or shopping sprees in the coming weeks, up from half the committees a year ago. The NCAA allows each bowl to award up to $550 worth of gifts to 125 participants per school. Schools can, and usually do, buy additional gifts that they can distribute to participants beyond that 125 limit. In addition, participants can receive awards worth up to $400 from the school and up to $400 from the conference for postseason play, covering both conference title games and bowl games.
As you can see, bowl season is a great time to be a player on a team that is bowl eligible. If I was a player, here are the bowls I would most like to go to based on their bowl swag:
Swag: XBox One console, Under Armour backpack, Might Boom Ball speakers, beanie.
Last year this bowl gave out a Sony Playstation 4. This year they are giving out a XBox One. Where do I sign up?
Holiday Bowl, Russell Athletic Bowl, BWW Citrus Bowl
Swag: All of these bowls are giving out a $445-$447 Best Buy Gift Card along with some other select merchandise.
I could do some major damage inside Best Buy with $400+. Music, games, movies, phones, electronics, gadgets. This is pretty much a college student’s dream.
The Poinsettia Bowl ($395) and Outback Bowl ($150) are also giving out Best Buy gift cards with their swag packages.
Quick Lane Bowl
Swag: $250 Best Buy gift card; Sony headphones; custom-made Fathead for each player with their likeness; various apparel; football
They get the $250 Best Buy gift card which is nothing to sneeze at but they also get a custom-made Fathead. I’m not huge on Fatheads but the key with this is that it will be custom made for each player with their likeness. Now that’s cool. (Editor’s note: This makes you wonder what the NCAA thinks about the likeness of a player being used here…)
Valero Alamo Bowl
Swag: GoPro Hero4 Silver camera and 32 GB memory card; Fossil watch; Oakley Works backpack; Schutt mini helmet; panoramic photo
I don’t know that much about the GoPro, but I do know that it’s not something that I’m likely to buy. However, as a gift, it’s definitely something I would love to have. A Google search shows that these can run from $400-$500, so from a value perspective this one is a home run. Who knows, maybe this will inspire one of the players to be another Chris Conley.
Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl
Swag: $300 Vanilla Visa gift card; Chick-fil-A gift card; Apple TV; Fossil watch; football
$300 in what basically amounts as straight up cash for a college student? Yes, please. Not to mention a Chick-fil-A giftcard (salivates) and an Apple TV. Yes, I’ll take this one.
During bowl season you hear fans complain that there are too many bowls. Bowl season gives teams a great chance to not only get extra practices to prepare for the following season, but it also gives schools a chance to reward their players in a way that is within NCAA rules. Make sure to check out the Sports Business Daily for a fun rundown of all the bowl swag.