Moss Sports for the first time exhibited at the Football Bowl Association Annual Meeting and Trade Show in April, an event that attracted 39 College Bowl Committees, the NCAA, ESPN, industry vendors, and the new College Football Playoff Committee.The meetings showcase keynote speeches and breakout sessions to inform and elevate the Bowl Game industry.
As one of 54 vendors, we made a prominent impact with a double booth footprint and striking 20 ft tension fabric backwall with iconic images of Rose Bowl, the Allstate Sugar Bowl and Tostitos Fiesta Bowl branding. A built-in monitor aired the new NHL Bridgestone Winter Classic video.
In a delicious combination of food and food for thought, Moss Sports was proud to sponsor a buffet lunch and receive markedly increased attention. The FBA event featured terrific programming and we established purposeful relationships with new Bowl executives.
Several salient issues within the Bowl industry ere addressed in meetings: industry growth, the College Football Playoff, NCAA rules regarding student-athletes, and ESPN’s commitment to the Bowl industry.
Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany, opening the meetings with his keynote on Bowl industry growth, received quite a bit of attention with his comment that “just like you can have too much ice cream,there can be too many bowls.” Read Matt Murschel’s Orlando Sentinel article.
Mark Lewis, NCAA EVP of Championships, spoke about how the NCAA seeks to become more responsive in addressing the needs of student-athletes, but will not go as far as allowing unions. The NCAA process will take some time to hammer out new rules: clearly of great interest to the Bowl community.
The College Football Playoff announcement of the Bowl Playoff Rotation for the next three years was highly anticipated. The new post season will consist of two national semifinals games to be played on New Years’ Day. The Sugar Bowl and the Rose Bowl will serve as the semifinals this season. The winners of these games will play on January 12th at AT&T Stadium for the national title. The other additional bowls, designated as “non-semi-final” games will be the Orange Bowl, Cotton Bowl, (Chick-fil-A) Peach Bowl and the Fiesta Bowl.
The semifinals will rotate among these six different bowls over the next three years. You can read more at the College Football Playoff website.
ESPN & the Lee Corso philosophy
The final day featured an interview of ESPN President & CEO John Skipper by FBA Executive Director Wright Waters, with audience Q&A. Mr. Skipper’s remarks encompassed ESPN’s commitment to sports as well as its significant investment in college sports and the College Bowls. ESPN plans to air 400 hours of college football programming, compared to far less for each of the broadcast networks.
In my mind the highlight of the event was the tribute to Lee Corso, ESPN College Game Day analyst and 2014 recipient of the FBA Annual Recognition Award. Introducing Corso, the ESPN folks played a hilarious video of his trademark antics of donning mascot gear during College Game Day telecasts, leaving the audience in splendid stitches.
However, the most memorable part of Corso’s acceptance speech was his acknowledgement of his battle recovering from a stroke in 2009, and his credo that enabled him to persevere through this daunting challenge.
His courage and determination, good humor and positive outlook were incredibly motivating. His originality and self-effacing celebrity endear him to many. In commenting about his philosophy after recovering from his stroke, he spoke of values I think we share at Moss Sports.
- Being in the game
- Having focus
- Being process-oriented
- Combining determination with humor
- Holding a positive outlook
- Understanding that we’re delivering what our customers want
- Delivering service excellence
- Doing whatever it takes to make it more fun. Smile!
Speaking of smiles...here are a few more from Lee in his “back to school” video: