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Orange Bowl could be named for Hershey’s Reese’s brand

ESPN is in serious negotiations with Hershey’s for the chocolate giant’s Reese’s brand to become the title sponsor of the Orange Bowl college football game, according to a report in today’s SportsBusiness Journal.

After 21 years, FedEx has bowed out as title sponsor of the BCS game played at Sun Life Stadium. FedEx had the longest reign as sponsor of a BCS game, but the company said it wanted to focus on its other sports marketing properties, including partnerships with the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup, the NFL, NBA and NASCAR’s Joe Gibbs Racing.

The SportsBusiness Journal report says ESPN is negotiating with Hershey’s on a four-year deal worth less than $20 million a year. ESPN will begin broadcasting BCS games, including the national championship, next year under a four-year contract that runs through 2014.

Hershey’s declined to comment.

"We believe the Orange Bowl is a premier property and a tremendous marketing opportunity. We are in active discussions with advertisers,” ESPN spokeswoman Amy Phillips said in a statement.

The Orange Bowl Committee, which hosts the game, isn’t negotiating the sponsorship deal, but is aware of the discussions.

“We are in regular discussions with ESPN regarding the title sponsorship of the Orange Bowl,” Orange Bowl Committee CEO Eric Poms said in a statement. “There are active conversations in the marketplace around the title sponsorship of the Orange Bowl.”

The Orange Bowl next hosts the national championship game in 2013.

Categories: NCAA (38), Orange Bowl (45), Sponsorship (101), Television (35)

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About the author
CRAIG DAVIS In more than 33 years at the Sun Sentinel, Craig Davis has written about a wide variety of sports topics from baseball to yachting, fishing to triathlons, and also worked as a copy editor and page designer. Recently he reported on local sports, including running, swimming, cycling, equestrian and beach volleyball. He enjoys sports as a participant as well as a spectator, is active in the South Florida running scene plays in the curling club at Saveology Iceplex. This blog offers a glimpse at the business side of sports in the interest of enhancing enjoyment of the games and sporting options as a spectator as well as a participant.
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