We are pleased to serve as the primary source of sponsorship information and analysis for news media around the globe. Our current annoucements and news releases are viewable through the links below.

BattleFrog Takes Over As Fiesta Bowl Sponsor

The Republic /, December 04, 2015

By Ronald J. Hansen

BattleFrog, a new and relatively obscure host of obstacle course events, is taking over the corporate sponsorship of the Fiesta Bowl, at least for a year.

The Florida-based company that began in late 2013 figures to introduce itself to a much wider audience through the nationally watched Jan 1 game at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. For the Fiesta Bowl, BattleFrog is the second sponsor in as many years after Tostitos ended its nearly two-decade relationship with the game in early 2014.

Neither the Fiesta Bowl nor BattleFrog would discuss terms of the sponsorship, which was announced Friday.

BattleFrog CEO Ramiro Ortiz, a former banker who served on the Orange Bowl's organizing committee for more than 20 years, said the company's new partnership helps tie it more closely to the kind of athletes who take part in their events, which are modeled after courses used by Navy SEALs.

"What could be a better fit for our company?" Ortiz said. "Our target audience for our BattleFrog obstacle course race series are the Millennials and people that believe in health and fitness. ... It's a natural."

"BattleFrog's commitment to creating unique and exciting events matches our desire to deliver one-of-a-kind experiences to fans each year," said Mike Nealy, executive director for the Fiesta Bowl, in a statement.

BattleFrog first gained wide exposure when ESPN televised several of its events, pitting 16 collegiate teams against each other, on two of its channels this summer. The network, which will broadcast the 45th annual Fiesta Bowl next month, has said it plans to show more BattleFrog competitions next year.

Jim Andrews, senior vice president at IEG, a Chicago-based sponsorship research company, said the BattleFrog deal reflects a shift away from the Fortune 500 companies that once held naming rights to bowl games and toward companies looking to boost their brand.

"These naming-rights deals are very much unlike they were 30 years ago, when it was Sunkist making headlines as the Fiesta Bowl sponsor," he said. "It's now driven by television. A lot of it is wrapped up in who ESPN has advertising relationships with or is able to establish relationships with. They already have a relationship with BattleFrog."

Even so, there was no mention of sponsorship after the 2016 Fiesta Bowl.

"We obviously would like to have a long-term deal, but the specifics of that we really need to keep confidential, Ortiz said.

For now, BattleFrog is trying to grow its presence across the country. It held five events in 2014 and 14 this year, Ortiz said. Next year, it plans to hold 44. Its first-ever event in the West is in San Diego on Jan. 23 and BattleFrog comes to Phoenix a week later.

"It's not a household name or a product category. You've not seen an events producer take a large naming rights deal like this, but I think it speaks to how hot right now that category is," Andrews said. "These extreme fitness events, obstacle course events have got a lot of competition in that space. ... (BattleFrog is) not the biggest brand in that space, but this will definitely help them establish themselves. You hadn't heard of them before today and now we're all talking about them."

The Fiesta Bowl began play in 1971. Arizona State won the first three games. By the mid-1980s, the game had expanded to one of the top bowl games in college football.

About that time, it also gained corporate sponsorship. From 1986 through 1990 it was known as the Sunkist Fiesta Bowl. For three years in the early 1990s, IBM sponsored the game. Tostitos took over in 1996 and kept the title sponsorship through January 2014.

Last year's game, which was held on Dec. 31, was sponsored by Vizio.