Vizio Tackles Rose Bowl Sponsorship


ESPN has cut a second deal that changes the lineup for the annual top college football bowl games. Ohio State, Alabama and Oklahoma should be there for years to come, but FedEx and Citi have ended their seasons.

The Rose Bowl, sponsored by Citi for years, will now have flat-screen TV maker Vizio as its nameplate backer. Starting in January and running through 2014 on ESPN, the bowl is the "Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio."

The Rose Bowl is the one Bowl Championship Series game that does not allow a sponsor's name in the pole position on the marquee, such as the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl or Allstate Sugar Bowl.

Joining Vizio as a new BCS game backer over the next four years is Discover, which is replacing FedEx after 21 years at the Orange Bowl -- now the "Discover Orange Bowl." Discover and Vizio will also have top-line sponsorships of the BCS national championship game in 2013 and 2014, respectively.



ESPN will air all BCS games for the first time in January. Its Vizio arrangement gives the TV maker rights to have its logo on various BCS/ESPN promotions, as well as its own product packages.

Randy Waynick, Vizio chief sales officer, stated that the deal "provides tremendous marketing potential leading up to the game during the critical holiday buying season."

Vizio has used ESPN to help build its brand during the flat-screen HDTV boom over the past five years. It is an official HD sponsor of "SportsCenter."

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