For the second time in as many months, a BcS bowl game has lost its title sponsor.
First was FedEx ending its 21-year relationship with the Orange Bowl back in May, and now Citi has done the same with the Rose Bowl after a seven-year run, the Sports Business Journal is reporting.
Perhaps the biggest reason for Citi’s decision, the website writes, is because of ESPN’s restrictions over when and where it would spend its money as the Rose Bowl’s lead sponsor. ESPN has taken over the BcS broadcast rights from FOX — thank you again, Lord — and has assumed responsibility for selling marketing and advertising as well.
AT&T, the first title sponsor of the Rose Bowl, is reportedly eyeing a return to the Granddaddy of Them All. Hershey’s is expected to take over for FedEx and become the Orange Bowl’s new title sponsor.
It will run a company in the neighborhood of $200 million a year to sponsor a BcS game, up 33 percent from what FOX was charging. ESPN, however, is selling the rights as a season-long college football package.