The Holiday Bowl is still on the hunt for a named sponsor with less than six weeks to go before the Dec. 30 kickoff.
The San Diego Bowl Game Association, which organizes both the Holiday Bowl and the Poinsettia Bowl, said this is the latest its gone without a sponsor for the game, though it still thinks it has a shot to close a deal. The game dates back to 1978, but didn’t get a sponsor until 1986 when SeaWorld partnered with the association.
“The runway to activate a sponsorship is shorter, but we still have plenty of time,” Executive Director Mark Neville said.
The Holiday Bowl had been sponsored by National University for the past two years, but the school did not renew its sponsorship this year. The Poinsettia Bowl has been sponsored by San Diego County Credit Union since its inception in 2005.
Neville said conversations are ongoing, but that even if the association can’t find a sponsor it won’t materially affect the game’s production or its nearly $6 million purse. Sponsorship revenue is in the “low seven figures” per year, according to Neville. Reserves will be able to make up the difference, he said.
“Even not having a sponsor for one year is significant for us, but we’re not going to enter into a quick relationship to get us through one year,” he said. “We’re not panicked by any stretch.”
The Poinsettia and Holiday bowls had an economic impact of $35.3 million last year, according to a study from San Diego State University, up about $5 million from 2013. The Holiday Bowl, with a larger attendance and greater share of fans traveling from outside the county, had a much larger impact, accounting for $30.3 million.