When did bowl game sponsorships become so full of empty calories?
For me, the only thing missing as I watched the broadcast was some game-style grub with ample sodium, fat and sugar. Perhaps my feeling of junk food deprivation was
heightened by the near constant references (both visual and verbal) during the game to tortilla chips and soda.
Officially dubbed “The Tostitos BCS National Championship Game,” Monday night’s showdown between Auburn and Oregon was just one of several bowl games this season sponsored by a “junk food” brand.
It started on December 21st with the “Beef O’ Brady Bowl,” which was followed by the “Little Caesars Bowl” on December 26th. Then came a double dose of tortilla chips with the “Tostitos Fiesta Bowl” on New Year’s Day and Monday’s Tostitos Championship, after which the Auburn Tigers were presented with the “Dr. Pepper Coaches’ Trophy.”
I have nothing at against these brands — I like tortilla chips, take-out pizza and soda, and I’ve never even been to a Beef O’ Brady restaurant (though the online menu with corn dogs, onion rings, queso dip and fried mozzarella sticks sounds tasty). But what I find a bit cheesy is how the NCAA, ESPN or whoever rakes in the most cash from the BCS has turned just about every element of the championship series into a sponsorship opportunity. The caps worn by the Auburn players as they accepted their Dr. Pepper trophy sported a prominent Tostitos logo. As USA Today reported, ESPN’s Brent Musburger even plugged the championship game’s title sponsor during the dramatic final play when he quipped, “This is for all the Tostitos” (a Frito-Lay marketing rep later denied the company had anything to do with Musburger’s comment).
Perhaps its time for college football to slim down from all the high-calorie sponsorships… or at least let fans decide for themselves how much junk food they consume during a game.