Tostitos and Buffalo Wild Wings both dropped their naming deals with the valley’s two college football games.
Now, the director of the Fiesta Bowl says that progress is being made on finding a new sponsor for what had been called the Buffalo Wild Wings bowl.
Mike Nealy says he’s had talks with at least 3 potential new sponsors. “Some have called us, and some that we’re reaching out to,” Nealy said. He would not name any of the companies.
Nealy said that, for now, the December game at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe is being called “The Valley of the Sun Bowl.” He’s looking for a sponsor that is the right fit for the game. “It’s not always just about who is going to write a check to you,” Nealy said. “You want someone who is going to be a good partner in the community.”
Bloomberg Business Week says that Buffalo Wild Wings paid $2 million for the naming rights to the bowl in 2012. The company decided not to renew the deal.
“They decided from a business standpoint that it was not for them, and I can appreciate that,” Nealy said.
He said that now is the time for the bowl to get busy and find a replacement.
Meanwhile, Nealy is stepping up efforts to sell tickets to this year’s game. “I have staff that, literally, are starting on Monday that are going to be pushing outbound sales,” he said.
Nealy is hoping to develop more events related to the game in Tempe once the naming rights are sold.
The Valley of the Sun Bowl is owned by the Fiesta Bowl, which has also lost its long-time sponsor, Tostitos.
ESPN bought the rights to negotiate the naming rights, but was unable to re-sign Tostitos. Nealy says he’s confident that the cable sports network will be able to find a new sponsor.