Ground-floor sponsorship opps on offer for football game that’s ‘more exciting than the Super Bowl’

Local promoter says Canada will likely go football-mad during International Bowl Week in Toronto come January, when NCAA college football busts through the border.

American college football madness is poised to infect Canadians big-time in early January. During what the City of Toronto has already declared ‘International Bowl Week,’ the National College Athletic Association and the Football Bowl Association will launch the only NCAA bowl game to be played outside the US since the Bacardi Bowl in Havana in 1937.

‘But this is not a one-shot deal,’ says International Bowl promoter Dan Sherrett, founder of Toronto’s Beep (Branded Entertainment Equity Partners) agency, which is handling marketing partnership deals. ‘The International Bowl is going to be (in Toronto) for years to come, so this is a unique chance for sponsors and advertisers to get in on the ground floor of something that’s more exciting than the Super Bowl. I say that because there’s so much more on the line for the players, who are all seniors looking to get drafted to the NFL.’

Slated for Jan. 6 at Toronto’s Rogers Centre, the event has already attracted major Canadian broadcast partners including the Toronto Star, the Canadian Sports Radio Network, FAN 590 radio and TSN (The Sports Network), which will air it live in Canada to an audience Sherrett pegs at approximately half a million. Simultaneously, ESPN One will broadcast the game in the US to approximately 10 million viewers. Sherrett expects about 20,000 American fans to travel to Toronto for the event, thanks in part to a recent story in USA Today, calling it the newspaper’s ‘new favorite bowl.’

All this plus a week of events, including marching band and cheerleader competitions, tailgate parties, a parade and other related pageantry, adds up to what Sherrett calls ‘very attractive, integrated brand opportunities.’ He adds that an extensive PR initiative for national and international media coverage will kick off at a press conference on Oct. 16 at the Rogers Centre hosted by former Toronto Argonaut quarterback Doug Flutie – who will do colour commentary during the big game.