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CFB Playoff Projected To Bring In Nearly Double Current Money For Bowl Entitlements

Sports Business Daily, December 28, 2012

This is the next-to-last college football season in the current BCS structure, which means it also is the next-to-last season that title sponsors – Allstate, Discover, Tostitos and Vizio – will pay the current $15-20M a year for their bowl entitlements. Kantar Media projects that title sponsorships in the new playoff structure beginning with the '14 season will cost $35M, nearly double what brands are paying now and potentially the highest rights fee for any college sports property. It is believed that NCAA sponsors AT&T and Coca-Cola spend close to that much for their corporate champion status. It is expected that ESPN, which won the 12-year deal to carry the football playoffs for $5.6B, plus the Rose, Orange and Sugar bowls, will continue selling the entitlements. Kantar Media used one of its products called ImageTrack to measure the value of the branding on the broadcast and the advertising exposure received by the title sponsors to gauge what the future cost will be. The $35M annual figure for each title sponsor would include a season-long media buy across ESPN’s college football programming, Kantar said. To project the cost of title sponsors in the playoffs, ImageTrack analyzed the media exposure title sponsors received for the '11 and '12 BCS National Championship games. The advertising equivalent for the '11 Auburn-Oregon game was $83M, while last year’s Alabama-LSU game generated $104M in ad exposure. Richard Brinkman, head of Kantar Sport, said the numbers for next month's Notre Dame-Alabama matchup should be even higher. “The fair market value for the (playoffs) will be substantially higher than the current BCS sponsor packages,” Brinkman said.

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