FedEx Orange Bowl Scores Branding Success

NEW YORK — Sports branding has created a substantial windfall for Florida, college football and FedEx, which has owned the naming rights to the Orange Bowl game since 1989.

This past winter, when Florida State and Oklahoma played for the national championship, the FedEx Orange Bowl game at Miami’s Pro Player Stadium and related activities brought in more than $185 million to South Florida’s economy. The figure includes the value of advertising from media coverage, the amount spent at local businesses and the impact to area businesses, according to Sport Management Research Institute, Weston, Fla.

SMRI’s just-released study indicates that 77% of the 76,835 fans who attended the sold-out game on January 3 do not live in the area, and more than 64% stayed in full-service hotels, for an average of 4.3 days, spending an average of $71.38 each per day.

The overall figure even exceeded the Orange Bowl Committee’s projected estimate, which anticipated that $145 million would be brought in by such events as a parade, tailgate party and the game itself, as well as the sale of merchandise. The next FedEx Orange Bowl, scheduled for January 2, may top the $200 million mark in marketing and other revenues, according to SMRI.