The 2016-17 bowl season is upon us, meaning players are getting good, not so good, and fun gifts from their games. Sports Business Daily is kind enough to give us the scoop on everything players will be getting this year.
The majority of bowls stepped up their game from a year ago. With the games happening around the holiday season, and the fact that these players work at this sport for 365 days a year, kudos to most of these bowls for giving participants some pretty awesome gifts.
Bowl gifts that give you the most bang for your “buck”
Quick Lane Bowl, Boston College vs. Maryland: $200 Best Buy gift card; JBL headphones; life-sized Fathead decal for each participant of his likeness; hoodie; winter hat; Rock ’Em Apparel socks; backpack; vintage football
You guys. PLAYERS GET A FATHEAD OF THEMSELVES AT THIS BOWL. How cool is that? Imagine this, but you’re the player.
Alamo Bowl, Colorado vs. Oklahoma State: Apple Watch Nike+; $110 Best Buy gift card; myCharge HubPlus portable charger; team panoramic photo; mini-helmet
The Apple Watch Nike+ is pretty sweet and starts at $399. Plus, who doesn’t love a Best Buy gift card?
Belk Bowl, Arkansas vs. Virginia Tech: Shopping trip to Belk department store; Fossil watch
This might not sound all that exciting, but players are often able to get all their Christmas shopping done in one trip, plus pick up stuff for themselves. Belk’s also known to include discounts in this private trip.
Citrus Bowl, Louisville vs. LSU: $305 Best Buy shopping trip. Timely Watch Co. watch; EA Sports video game; ISlide sandals; $25 Buffalo Wild Wings gift card
- $300 at Best Buy.
Sounds a lot to me like heaven, to be honest.
Russell Athletic Bowl, Miami vs. West Virginia: $300 Best Buy shopping trip; Timely Watch Co. watch; ISlide sandals; beach towel; athletic performance pullover
Outback Bowl, Florida vs. Iowa: $150 Best Buy gift card; Outback Steakhouse gift card; Fossil watch; Jostens ring; bowl hat
If Florida wins, players could use their gift cards the next day and get free Bloomin’ Onions along the way, thanks to the bowl’s 2016 promotion. For Iowa, it’d be coconut shrimp.
Fiesta Bowl, Clemson vs. Ohio State: Gift suite or PS4 game and accessory bundle; OGIO Throttle backpack; Fossil watch; football
One could assume that there’s a PS4 included in this gift suite, given that the game’s sponsor is PlayStation. But we’ll have to wait and see.
Peach Bowl, Alabama vs. Washington: $300 Vanilla Visa gift card by InComm; JBL Bluetooth speaker; Fossil watch; football
Can you imagine if someone gave you a $300 Visa gift card in college? Get excited, Alabama and Washington players.
The gifts that are the most fun
Armed Forces Bowl, Louisiana Tech vs. Navy: Gift suite; Finrod’s Festive Wear holiday sweater; football; beanie
Yes, Navy and Louisiana Tech will get these sweaters just like the ones that you wear to Christmas parties once a year.
New Mexico Bowl, UTSA vs. New Mexico: Gift suite; Oakley sunglasses and Enduro 25 backpack; Bluetooth earbuds; beanie; Gildan stadium blanket; cap; selfie stick
Selfie stick! Personally, I’m not a fan of selfie sticks, but players should have some fun with these.
Arizona Bowl, Air Force vs. South Alabama: Red, inflatable “big-lazy” couch; Selco watch; Ogio rucksack; Beats by Dr. Dre Powerbeats2 headphones with case; No Sweat Specialties socks
Players will be most excited about the earbuds, but here’s the first Google Image Search result for red, inflatable “big-lazy” couch.
Everyone needs a red, inflatable “big-lazy” couch.
TaxSlayer Bowl, Georgia Tech vs. Kentucky: Fossil watch; carry-on bag; Under Armour sunglasses; football; bobblehead with player’s face, name and uniform number
I’m not sure about you, but a bobblehead of yourself sounds pretty dope.
Heart of Dallas Bowl, Army vs. North Texas: Gift suite; Amazon Echo Dot; football
These things, which you can just tell to order pizza for you or remind you when it’s 10 minutes before a math final.
Miami Beach Bowl, Central Michigan vs. Tulsa: Under Armour backpack, hat and sunglasses; ISlide sandals; portable power bank; beach paddleball set; football
A trip to Miami isn't complete without beach paddleball, right?
Hawaii Bowl, MTSU vs. Hawaii: Electronics gift suite; Oakley backpack and Holbrook sunglasses; Tori Richard aloha shirt; beach towel; Pro Athletics surf trunks; team performance gear
Because what bowl played in Hawaii is complete without a Hawaiian shirt?!
Texas Bowl, Kansas State vs. Texas A&M: Gift suite; belt buckle; Adidas backpack; ISlide sandals
In 2013, the belt buckle the Texas Bowl gave out was Texas as hell and it was awesome.
That’s a lot of really specific stuff. Do players like it all?
Liberty Bowl, Georgia vs. TCU: Bass Pro Shops shopping trip; Oculus Pro Team HD binoculars; Bulova watch; Nike athletic shoes, sport sandals, backpack and sunglasses; football
A trip to Bass Pro Shops might be the most hit-or-miss item on this entire list. Some players will love it. Some players have never been camping in their lives and have no intention of starting.
Dollar General Bowl, Ohio vs. Troy: Leather duffel bag; Pure Boom wireless headphones; Wilson souvenir game ball; RTIC SoftPak 40 cooler; Timely Watch Co. watch
At least it’ll all fit in the bag.
Military Bowl, Temple vs. Wake Forest: $300 Microsoft gift card; Under Armour backpack and beanie; headphones
This is great for players who have XBoxes. What about PlayStation owners?
Gifts that really depend on exactly what we mean by “gift suite”
What are gift suites exactly? They’re private events in which participants can pick from a variety of items — from electronics to jewelry and even furniture — worth up to a total of $550.
Game participants, and often bowl VIPs, are given an order form and allowed to select a gift, or gifts, up to a value that is predetermined by each bowl, not to exceed the NCAA limit.
The NCAA allows each bowl to award up to $550 worth of gifts to 125 participants per school. Schools can, and usually do, buy additional packages that they can distribute to participants beyond that 125 limit. In addition, participants can receive awards worth up to $400 from the school and up to $400 from the conference for postseason play, covering both conference title games and any bowl game.
There’s no real specification when it comes to gift suites. Some might be good. Some might be not so great.
- Bahamas Bowl, Eastern Michigan vs. Old Dominion: Gift suite; S’Well insulated drink bottle; Jabba Bluetooth speakers; drawstring backpack; beach towel; bowl pin
- Birmingham Bowl, South Carolina vs. USF: Gift suite; ESPN beanie, power charger and USB adapter; souvenir football
- Cactus Bowl, Baylor vs. Boise State: Gift suite; Ogio Baja 70 backpack; Fossil watch; mixer bottle
- Camellia Bowl, Appalachian State vs. Toledo: Gift suite; Fossil watch; coin; hat; beanie; Ogio duffel bag; Big Game autograph football
- Cure Bowl, Arkansas State vs. UCF: Sports watch; warm-up jacket and pants; portable charger; Dri-Fit long-sleeve shirt; backpack
- Foster Farms Bowl, Indiana vs. Utah: Gift suite; Fossil watch; Timbuk2 backpack
- Holiday Bowl, Minnesota vs. Washington State: Gift suite; Fossil watch; New Era cap
- Independence Bowl, NC State vs. Vanderbilt: Gift suite; Timely Watch Co. watch; New Era skullcap; football
- Las Vegas Bowl, San Diego State vs. Houston: Gift suite; Oakley backpack; beanie; cap
- Music City Bowl, Nebraska vs. Tennessee: Gift suite; Fossil watch
- New Orleans Bowl, Southern Miss vs. UL Lafayette: Gift suite; Fossil watch
- Orange Bowl, Florida State vs. Michigan: Gift suite; Tourneau watch; Schutt mini-helmet
- Poinsettia Bowl, BYU vs. Wyoming: Gift suite; Fossil watch; New Era cap
- Potato Bowl, Colorado State vs. Idaho: Gift suite; Oakley backpack; beanie; football; Proof Eyewear sunglasses
- Rose Bowl, Penn State vs. USC: Gift suite; Fossil watch; Ogio backpack; New Era 9Fifty snapback adjustable hat
- St. Petersburg Bowl, Miami (OH) vs. Mississippi State: Gift suite; Oakley Turbine sunglasses and Enduro 20 backpack
- Sugar Bowl, Auburn vs. Oklahoma: Gift suite; Fossil watch with custom tin; New Era cap
- Sun Bowl, North Carolina vs. Stanford: Gift suite; Timely Watch Co. Silvertone Watch; Majestic Pro Base fleece pullover; Ogio Politan backpack; Under Armour cap; coin
And these are even more vague
Boca Raton Bowl, Memphis vs. Western Kentucky: Gift suite “and other items.”
Come on, Boca. “Gift suite” is already vague enough. You couldn’t be a little bit more descriptive about the rest?
Pinstripe Bowl, Northwestern vs. Pitt: A variety of New Era products
Now if you like hats, then this is the bowl gift for you. New Era doesn’t make that much else, so hopefully Pitt and Northwestern players like hats.
Cotton Bowl, Western Michigan vs. Wisconsin: “Would not disclose.”
College Football Playoff National Championship: Iconic gift
Playing in the title game is a big enough deal on its own, but hopefully this gift truly is “iconic” for players who’ll be playing in their 15th game of the season at that point.