10 Funniest College Football Bowl Game Sponsorships of All Time

Johnathan CaceCorrespondent IDecember 30, 2011

10 Funniest College Football Bowl Game Sponsorships of All Time

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    If the Valero Alamo Bowl didn’t have you laughing because of the atrocious defense on the field, the sponsors for some of these bowls will.

    Being a sponsor of a major college football bowl has brought a lot of money to a lot of people in the past. But some of the companies are really just stupid for attaching themselves to one.

    Here are the 10 funniest bowl sponsorships of all time.

Bridgepoint Education: 2010-Present

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    One of my personal favorites on this list is Bridgepoint Education. This for-profit group tries to bring online and land-based education to the masses with Ashford University and the University of the Rockies.

    Not only does it sound entirely ridiculous, but advertising for an online college should probably take place in something other than a bowl game for traditional universities.

    Are some people who watch the bowl in need of an online education? Sure, but most of the people watching have graduated from college already.

PetroSun: 2006-2008

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    PetroSun is founded on being a “carbon negative energy production” company. Is the best place to advertise that message a college football bowl?

    The people who are watching the game really could not care about fuel production when it isn’t from a company that gives us gas like Mobil or BP.

    Sponsors like Beef ‘O’ Brady’s  or even Taxslayer.com can actually gain a considerable amount of exposure by advertising to people who watch college football. Green energy companies cannot.

Poulan Weed-Eater: 1990-1996

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    While many people who watch college football frequently use lawnmowers and weed killing products produced by Poulan, this is easily the most ridiculous name ever conceived by a marketing department.

    Poulan is too obscure and Weed Eater is too bizarre to be marketed along with a college football bowl.

    Maybe if it was the “Poulan Lawn Care Bowl” or something to that effect, it wouldn’t have made this list but having Weed Eater in your name may have actually caused some customers to not use their products.

    I know I’ll never use NAPA Auto Parts because of their commercials.

Culligan: 1998-2001

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    The Holiday Bowl has had a history of getting the most random companies to sponsor its bowl and Culligan is no exception. The company makes water filtration, softeners and bottled water for small companies and residencies.

    Would you have ever known that if you didn’t watch the bowl? Maybe if you’re older and remember the “Hey Culligan man” commercials. When people need a new water softener nowadays, they Google it instead of what a college football bowl name tells them.

Bell Helicopter: 2006-Present

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    What college football buff is going to buy a helicopter? Anyone? Bueller?

    Sponsoring the Armed Forces Bowl was a nice move for the military contractor. But defense contracts are won with quality designs, not gimmicky advertising at a college football game.

Sea World:1986-1990

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    Have you heard of Sea World? Of course you have. But why would this family friendly park need to be advertising at a college football bowl?

    People come from all around the world specifically to go to Sea World. You can bet that the park failed to make much, if any, money with this sponsorship.

Idaho Potato Commission: 2011-Present

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    The only thing Idaho is known for is potatoes. It is widely considered the gold standard in the United States and around the world. When a restaurant uses Idaho potatoes, it makes sure to tell its guests.

    So why exactly do we have the “Famous Idaho Potato Bowl?” Not only are they already famous, but having “famous” in the name makes the whole commission just look more desperate than it otherwise would have.

    Plus, why would anyone really want to travel to Idaho to watch their mediocre football team play a game?

R+L Carriers: 2006-Present

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    R+L Carriers is a major shipping company. Would an executive really switch shipping carriers just because of a bowl tie-in? Of course not.

    The company sponsors a NASCAR team which is a much better investment for its money because of the obvious connection between 18-wheelers and cars. And adding “R+L Carriers” to an already long “New Orleans Bowl” is just too clunky.

Northrop Grumman: 2010-Present

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    In another “why are you advertising here” bowl, Northrop Grumman has decided to sponsor the Military Bowl. They are a global air, land and sea technology company that is a giant within the engineering field—I would know, I’m studying to become one.

    But what’s even more frustrating is the fact that they decided to have the bowl called the “Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman” and not the “Northrop Grumman Military Bowl.”

    It’s a real pain to always have to include the “presented by” but at least it gave us an entertaining bowl this year with Toledo and Air Force.

ConAgra Foods: 2002

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    ConAgra sponsored the Hawaii Bowl in order to get back in favor with America after a string of bad publicity. First was their demolition of 20 historic structures in Omaha, Nebraska.

    Then came their federal crackdown for spraying water to bulk up the weight of their grain and bribery of federal officers.

    Then came all of their health violations. In 2001, the company stopped production in two plants and in 2002 they had to recall 19 million pounds of beef for E. Coli.

    ConAgra should have worried about actually cleaning up their plants and business methods before sponsoring a bowl game.