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Duck Dynasty's Reported Duck Commander Independence Bowl Will Increase Interest

ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 28:  Willie Robertson of 'Duck Dynasty' attends Game Five of the 2013 World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Boston Red Sox at Busch Stadium on October 28, 2013 in St Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistFebruary 25, 2014

As if the Robertson family of "Duck Dynasty" wasn't already taking over your television enough, now they are sponsoring a bowl game as well.

Missy Setters, the executive director of the Independence Bowl, told Roy Lang III of the Shreveport Times, "We can confirm that Independence Bowl Foundation officials are very excited about a partnership with Duck Commander."

Brett McMurphy of ESPN has more:

The Duck Commander Independence Bowl will be the name of the Shreveport, La., bowl for the next six years, a source said. The bowl game, which previously was sponsored by AdvoCare V100, also is returning Independence to its name after a one-year hiatus.

Duck Commander is the name of a best-selling duck call company in West Monroe, La., which also makes other duck-hunting merchandise. The Robertson family is the subject of "Duck Dynasty," a reality television series on A&E.

Two weeks ago, Duck Commander also announced a multiyear agreement as the title sponsor for the spring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race—Duck Commander 500—at Texas Motor Speedway.

I'll tell you what, Duck Commander 500 sounds like a pretty sweet cartoon I would have watched as a kid. Move over, Darkwing Duck, there's a new duck in town. I feel like Duck Commander 500's tagline when he entered a room full of villains would have been, "Something smells fowl!"

But I digress.

Normally, I wouldn't think a bowl sponsorship would really increase viewership at all. After all, who cares about the Company X Brand Name bowl if two 6-6 teams are playing one another in early December?

And that may be the case with this bowl game as well, though attaching the Duck Commander name to the event may draw in a few more viewers. Anything the Robertsons touch seems to turn to gold at the moment.

Well, for the most part

And according to McMurphy, the game is set to pit an SEC team versus an ACC team (with Conference USA and the American Athletic Conference as the backups in case), so we could potentially be getting a decent matchup in the contest.

Another interesting aspect of the sponsorship is that Phil Robertson has serious college football ties. He was a quarterback at Louisiana Tech and even started ahead of Terry Bradshaw, so his connection to the college game is firmly in place.

Sep 12, 2013; Ruston, LA, USA; Television personality Phil Robertson (left) and NFL former quarterbacks Doug Williams and Terry Bradshow on the sidelines before the the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs game against the Tulane Green Wave at Joe Aillet Stadium. Mand
Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

It will be interesting to see in the future how much interest the less entrenched bowl games will garner. Heck, it will be interesting to see in the post-BCS era if any bowl games remain relevant now that college football has moved to a four-team playoff. 

Many believe that is just the first step in eventually taking the game to a full eight-team—or perhaps even larger—playoff tournament to determine a winner. When that becomes the case, bowls like the Duck Commander Independence Bowl might have a hard time gaining ratings outside of the markets where the two teams in the game play.

But for now, the name on the front of the bowl should attract added attention than it may have with a less, shall we say, intriguing company sponsoring it.

 

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