SAN ANTONIO — The San Antonio Bowl Association (d.b.a. Alamo Bowl) announced Thursday that OSRAM SYLVANIA has agreed to become title sponsor of the Alamo Bowl.
The Danvers, Massachusetts-based company’s commitment covers three years with a three-year option for the nationally televised bowl game. The SYLVANIA Alamo Bowl is televised nationally by ESPN, the world’s largest cable sports network. ESPN currently reaches more than 76 million homes with its 24-hour sports programming format.
OSRAM SYLVANIA is the North American operation of OSRAM GmbH, one of the three leading lamp manufacturers in the world. The company manufactures and markets a wide range of lighting products for industrial, commercial, OEM, consumer, photo optic and automotive markets and also manufactures and markets precision materials and components for the lighting, computer, aerospace and other major industries. With extensive research, development and engineering capabilities, OSRAM SYLVANIA designs and builds equipment used to manufacture lamps and related products, and also provides lighting upgrades and maintenance.
“Everyone at Osram Sylvania is very excited about this new relationship,” said Francis M. Piscitelli, Vice President of Marketing and Sales for OSRAM SYLVANIA General Lighting. “We have been involved with the Alamo Bowl as a sponsor since its first year and felt the time was right to take our commitment to the next level. This sponsorship will become a major part of our brand building efforts.”
OSRAM SYLVANIA has been an Alamo Bowl sponsor the last six years, including its title sponsorship of the annual SYLVANIA Alamo Bowl Gala. SYLVANIA replaces Builders Square/HQ, which chose not to renew its six-year title sponsorship of the Alamo Bowl last month. Builders Square`s six years as title sponsor ranked as the third-longest running bowl title sponsorship in the industry.
“Sylvania is a perfect fit,” said Frank G. Felicella, chairman of the Alamo Bowl’s Board of Directors. “They are not only a national company, but international as well. Sylvania has been a tremendous partner of the Alamo Bowl the past six years. They will enable the bowl to continue growing its already tremendous reputation in the college football community.”
Last year was a milestone year for the college bowl game that included landing the fourth-ranked team in the nation — the Kansas State Wildcats — and setting national viewership records on ESPN. The Alamo Bowl holds two of the top five slots on the list of the most-watched bowl games in ESPN history.
The 1995 bowl between Texas A&M and Michigan ranks as the second most-watched bowl game in the national cable network’s history, garnering a 6.3 rating (4,256,513 viewers during the telecast).
“We had no doubt the Alamo Bowl would secure a quality title sponsor,” said Dave Brown, ESPN’s Manager of Programming. “ESPN is committed to the Alamo Bowl and we feel the addition of Sylvania as title sponsor will only help the bowl continue its mercurial rise.”
The 1998 bowl, in which the Purdue Boilermakers toppled No. 4 Kansas State, ranks as the fifth most-watched bowl game in ESPN history. That game also earned the second highest rating out of the 11 bowl games ESPN televised during the 1998-99 bowl season. The game`s 4.92 rating translated into 3,726,547 viewers during the four-hour telecast.
“It’s always nice to continue relationships with people you know,” said Derrick Fox, Executive Director of the SYLVANIA Alamo Bowl. “Sylvania has been a valued sponsor since Day One and I can’t think of another company I’d like to have as our new title sponsor. They are a company very familiar with our goals and objectives.”
The SYLVANIA Alamo Bowl also boasts the highest average rating of all ESPN-televised bowl games over the last four years. In addition, the bowl received coverage in more than 1,000 newspaper across the country during the 1998 college football season.
The crowd of 60,780 that attended the 1998 game was the second largest in bowl history. The largest crowd was the 64,597 that saw No. 19 Texas A&M defeat No. 14 Michigan 22-20 on December 28, 1995.
“The Alamo Bowl and San Antonio are very important to the Big 12 Conference,” offered Big 12 Commissioner Kevin Weiberg. “We consider the Alamo Bowl a crucial partner of ours and wish them nothing but success with Sylvania.”
“Our four-year relationship with the Alamo Bowl and San Antonio has been nothing short of tremendous,” said Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany. “We are as excited as they are about Sylvania’s decision to come on board as title sponsor.”
The Alamo Bowl has been a boon to San Antonio tourism during the traditionally slow week between Christmas and New Year`s Day. The 1998 bowl game had an estimated direct economic impact in excess of $10 million on San Antonio`s economy and attracted more than of 37,000 out-of-town visitors to the Alamo City.