Las Vegas Bowl Gets New Sponsor, Now Going Purple - 8 News NOW

Las Vegas Bowl Gets New Sponsor, Now Going Purple

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LAS VEGAS -- The Las Vegas Bowl is the 16th oldest bowl game in the country.

It has survived because of exciting games, a little luck and the city of Las Vegas playing host.

Now the bowl game has a new sponsor. ESPN Regional Television Inc., which owns the annual game, has signed a deal with Royal Purple, a high-performance oil and lubricants company out of Texas.

One of the big reasons the company agreed to the deal is the location.

"I think Vegas is a great place from a hospitality standpoint. It is a place easy to get people come too. Everyone wants to come to Vegas," Royal Purple President Bryan Yourdon said. "So, we're really excited about the location and then the teams, Pac 12 is a really strong conference this year, Mountain West always has good teams."

The bowl game is a money maker for the Las Vegas valley. From its start 22 years ago, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority says the Las Vegas Bowl has pumped $215 million into the local economy.

"See a great game and you can experience Las Vegas. So, it is a great brand partnership for all of us," Rossi Rolenkotter with LVCVA said.

The bowl game doesn't pay out the most money nor is it played in front of the biggest audience. However, it has one thing that all the other games don't have and that is Las Vegas, which is why UFC president Dana White was asked by the LVCVA to help sell the game.

"I'd be a liar if I said I was the biggest college football fan on earth, but I'm the biggest Las Vegas fan on earth. Things like this matter, Cirque de Soleil is great, things like that. This is something different. It is a life-sporting event," White said.

White says he put his money where his mouth is, buying $8,000 worth of tickets for a game that last year was looking for a title sponsor and this found one.

"We were lucky. We had a search and found the Royal Purple people out of Texas and it is fantastic, They are very excited to be involved," Las Vegas Bowl executive director Dan Henneke said.

The two conferences just signed a six-year extension. The difference is the Pac 12 will now send its sixth place team instead of fifth.

The Pac 12 commissioner wanted and extra $1.3 million to send its fifth place team. The Las Vegas Bowl committee didn't see the value in the extra fee.

Each team will get $1.1 million for playing in the bowl game. If UNLV can win four out of its next eight games, it would be considered eligible to play in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl.

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