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Bowl game gifts 2018, categorized

Bowls are allowed to give players small gift packages, and these days, they do a good job of putting together interesting gifts.

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Bowl games are good, mainly because most players view them as rewards for successful seasons. One part of that reward: bowl gifts, or the small handouts bowls are allowed by the NCAA to give players.

Sports Business Daily came through with the full rundown of who’s getting what this year. Sure, the NCAA-mandated $550 limit for each player isn’t much, but that’s not the fault of these bowl games. Let’s run through them all.

Gifts that are the most fun!

  • Frisco Bowl (San Diego State vs. Ohio): Gift suite; Justin cowboy hat; beanie cap; coin; pin; Big Game football
  • Hawaii Bowl (Louisiana Tech vs. Hawaii): Electronics gift suite; Oakley backpack; Oakley sunglasses; Tori Richard aloha shirt; shorts/swim trunks; performance T-shirt; beach towel


  • Orange Bowl (Alabama vs. Oklahoma): Gift suite; Tourneau watch; personalized bobblehead of each student-athlete; sling bag

Hey Orange Bowl, how does one get a personalized bobblehead even if they aren’t a player on either team?

  • Quick Lane Bowl (Minnesota vs. Georgia Tech): $175 Best Buy gift card; JBL E55BT over-ear wireless headphones; life-sized Fathead decal for each participant of his likeness; backpack; shirts; mini helmet; football

Likewise with the Fathead, Quick Lane Bowl:

  • Texas Bowl (Baylor vs. Vanderbilt): Gift suite; Academy Sports + Outdoors gift card; Adidas backpack; belt buckle

The Texas Bowl belt buckle remains one of my all-time favorite gifts, because well, just look at this thing:

  • Cheez-it Bowl (Cal vs. TCU): — Fossil watch with engraved caseback; JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker; Baggo bag toss tailgate cornhole set; Yeti Roadie 20 cooler; Yeti rambler; dry duffel bag; RuMe reveal quart bag; Branded Bills cap; Dollar Shave Club starter set.

Folks, players get one of these bad boys:

Victory Tailgate

Now a lifetime supply of Cheez-Its would also be a good idea for a gift in the future. Just sayin’.

Gifts that give players the most freedom to use how they want

A gift card is one of the closest things to actual money players are allowed by the NCAA to receive, so every bowl should include gift cards.

  • Camping World Bowl (West Virginia vs. Syracuse): $400 Best Buy gift card; Ogio backpack with luggage tag; Fossil watch
  • Alamo Bowl (Iowa State vs. Washington State): $425 Amazon gift card; Fossil watch; mini helmet; team panoramic photo
  • Peach Bowl (Florida vs. Michigan): $300 Vanilla Visa gift card; Fossil watch; Mophie Powerstation XL; Amazon Echo Dot smart speaker (third generation); football

A Mophie powerstation is a portable charging station, a very convenient gift.

  • Outback Bowl (Mississippi State vs. Iowa): Fossil watch; Jostens ring; $125 Best Buy gift card; Outback Steakhouse Gift card; hat

Anything that involves steak is a damn good gift, IMO.

  • Military Bowl (Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech): Dell Mobile Projector M318WL; $100 Amex Gift Card; ISlides

I really didn’t realize how players would make much use of this:

Until I realized this things means you get to stream shows from your phone and then project them anywhere you’d like. So, I take it back!

  • Citrus Bowl (Kentucky vs. Penn State): $400 Best Buy gift card; Fossil watch; Ogio backpack with luggage tag

The Fiesta Bowl, sponsored by PlayStation, is true to its name

Fiesta Bowl (LSU vs. UCF): PS4 gift package; Fossil watch with engraved caseback; Ogio X-Fit backpack

It should’ve given players another recliner, TBH:

And some other sweet tech-related gifts

  • Gator Bowl (NC State vs. Texas A&M): Fossil watch; Maui Jim sunglasses; Amazon Echo; ISlides; SIC tumbler; dopp kit

Amazon Echos seems pretty dope!


(Unrelated to technology: a “dopp kit” is just a toiletry bag.)

  • Red Box Bowl (Michigan State vs. Oregon): Fossil watch; Timbuktu backpack; Roku; headphones; Redbox Bowl merchandise

A Roku is a solid TV streaming platform.

  • Arizona Bowl (Arkansas State vs. Nevada): Ghostek backpack with a power bank and external USB port; Beats Buds; Fire Kindle with built-in Alexa; hydroflask; cooling towel; Frito Lay products in each bag
  • Dollar General Bowl: (Buffalo vs. Troy): Yamaha sound bar with built-in subwoofer; Timely Watch Co. watch; Maui Jim sunglasses; Wilson game ball

Who doesn’t love shopping trips?

Again, letting players actually choose what they get is preferable to just about anything else.

  • Belk Bowl (South Carolina vs. Virginia): Shopping trip to Belk department store; Fossil watch

In 2016, an Arkansas player was suspended from the Belk Bowl after he was accused of shoplifting $260 worth of items on the Belk shopping trip, so hopefully something like that doesn’t happen again!

  • Liberty bowl (Missouri vs. Oklahoma State): Shopping trip to Memphis’ Bass Pro Shops; Bose SoundLink micro Bluetooth speaker; Bulova watch; Nike athletic shoes; sport sandals; backpack and sunglasses; football

Memphis’ Bass Pro is literally inside a pyramid!

Gifts mostly made up “gift suites,” which can mean lots of different things

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.

  • Rose Bowl (Washington vs. Ohio State): Gift suite; Fossil watch; Ogio backpack; New Era 9Fifty adjustable hat
  • Sugar Bowl: (Texas vs. Georgia) Gift suite; Fossil watch; New Era cap; Rock ’Em socks; cufflinks
  • Las Vegas Bowl (Fresno State vs. Arizona State): Gift suite; collectible Las Vegas item TBD; dad hat; beanie; fanny pack

DAD HAT! What is a dad hat?! According to Google, it’s just your standard, run-of-the-mill baseball caps that most dads wear.

  • New Orleans Bowl (Middle Tennessee vs. Appalachian State): Gift suite; Fossil watch
  • Cameilla Bowl (Georgia Southern vs. Eastern Michigan): Gift suite; Fossil watch; Samsonite rolling duffle bag; beanie; Big Game football
  • Boca Raton Bowl (UAB vs. Northern Illinois): Gift suite; drawstring backpack; beach towel; football
  • Gasparilla Bowl (Marshall vs. South Florida): Gift suite

Hopefully that’s a dope gift suite — if I were the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl, I’d just give a gift suite of lawn mowers filled with presents, TBH.

  • Sun Bowl (Stanford vs. Pitt): Gift suite; Timely Watch Co. watch; Majestic fleece pullover; Ogio Excelsior backpack; Under Armour cap; coin
  • Bahamas Bowl (FIU vs. Toledo): Gift suite; Yeti rambler; string backpack; board shorts; towel; pin
  • Idaho Potato Bowl (Western Michigan vs. BYU): Gift suite; Oakley backpack; hydroflask; beanie

A “hydroflask” is an insulated water bottle — what were you thinking it was?

  • Birmingham Bowl (Memphis vs. Wake Forest): Gift suite; Oakley backpack or sunglasses; cooling hoodie; football
  • Holiday Bowl (Northwestern vs. Utah): Gift suite; Fossil watch; New Era cap
  • Armed Forces Bowl (Houston vs. Army): Gift suite; Bluetooth speaker helmet; football
  • First responder bowl (Boston College vs. Boise State): Gift suite; RFID-blocking Ridge wallet; Big Game football

This wallet looks like it was designed by NASA, TBH:

  • Independence Bowl (Temple vs. Duke): Gift suite; Timely Watch Co. watch; New Era skull cap; football
  • Music City Bowl (Purdue vs. Auburn): Gift suite; Fossil watch

Sidenote — there are a lot of Fossil watches on here. Sure, Fossil watches are fine, but we should definitely give these players some variety when it comes to timepieces in the next few years!

Grab bags! Little bit of everything in these!

  • Cure Bowl (Tulane vs. Louisiana): Holloway Force jacket; sunglasses with carry case; Energizer powerbank (similar to the Mophie mentioned above); duffle bag; Pebble Beach slides; dopp kit; Sportek long-sleeve contender T-shirt; cap
  • New Mexico Bowl (North Texas vs. Utah State): Gift suite; Oakley Jupiter Squared sunglasses; Oakley 5 Speed backpack; Bluetooth speaker; water bottle; beanie; Montgomery pen; Pacific Headwear trucker’s cap


  • Pinstripe Bowl: A variety of New Era products
  • Cotton Bowl (Clemson vs. Notre Dame): Would not disclose gifts
  • CFP National Championship: Would not disclose gifts

Sure, some of these bowl gifts are better than others, but you can appreciate these games coming up with creative ways to reward players during the holiday season, even if they aren’t allowed to do very much.