October 20, 2010: The college football bowl game known as "The Granddaddy of Them All" is getting a new presenting sponsor as electronics company Vizio Inc., has signed a deal to attach its name to the Rose Bowl.
The deal takes effect with the 2011 Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio this January and runs through 2014, when the Rose Bowl venue will host the Vizio BCS National Championship Game.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Vizio takes over naming rights from Citi, which had been the presenting sponsor of the Rose Bowl since 2004 and was title sponsor of the BCS National Championship Game this past January. The deal with Irvine, Calif.-based Vizio includes logo rights for marketing and Rose Bowl-related products and events.
The Rose Bowl features the champions of the Pac-10 and Big Ten. The 2011 game will also be the first broadcast on ESPN, which now has broadcast rights for the entire BCS series.
Vizio is currently the official HD sponsor of "SportsCenter" and "ESPN College Football" and will "maintain these positions throughout the term of the deal," according to the company.
The Rose Bowl stadium is located outside of Los Angeles in Pasadena. The Vizio deal comes on the heels of the Pasadena City Council approving a $152 million renovation and financing plan for the 88-year-old stadium, including 30-year lease extensions with UCLA and the Tournament of Roses. The first Bowl game was played there in 1902.
"Sports fans, particularly football fans, are a critically important audience for our brand as it continues to grow and expand."
"Sports fans, particularly football fans, are a critically important audience for our brand as it continues to grow and expand," Randy Waynick, Vizio chief sales officer, said in a statement. "Serving as presenting sponsor of the 'Granddaddy of all Bowl Games' provides a rare opportunity to reach a captive audience on New Year's Day. It also provides tremendous marketing potential leading up to the game during the critical holiday buying season.
According to Ed Erhardt, president for ESPN customer marketing and sales, "Taking an enhanced and major stake in college football will give Vizio significant new opportunities to connect with the college football fan. Together with the Tournament of Roses, we look forward to working with Vizio to maximize their new sponsorship throughout the season and especially with the Rose Bowl Game itself."
In addition to its ESPN alliance, Vizio is not a stranger to sports, having used NFL running back LaDainian Tomlinson, now with the New York Jets, as a spokesman when he was with the San Diego Chargers. The company also ran a spot during Super Bowl XLIV this past February starring Beyoncé Knowles-Carter.
This is the second college bowl game this week to acquire a new sponsor, with GoDaddy.com signing a deal to take over naming rights to the former GMAC Bowl.