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A Chicago suburb is spending $300,000 to be the title sponsor for a nationally televised college football bowl game in the Bahamas.
Elk Grove Village and ESPN on Tuesday announced the bowl sponsorship for the Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl. They said the Dec. 21 game in Nassau will mark the first time a non-tourist municipality has sponsored a bowl game.
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The game, which was previously sponsored by fast-food chain Popeyes, is one of 14 owned and operated by ESPN Event. The bowl features teams from the Mid-American Conference and Conference USA.
The move is the village’s latest marketing push to expand the reach of its “Makers Wanted” campaign to promote a local industrial park, which officials say has more than 5,600 businesses. The campaign was launched in 2015, and has included a website, billboards, TV and radio commercials, and print ads.
Mayor Craig Johnson said the sponsorship will be “a perfect opportunity to use college football to share our message with the entire country.” Richard Giannini, the bowl game’s executive director, said the unique sponsorship will allow the village to promote its message to a national audience.
Elk Grove Village is just northwest of Chicago and borders O’Hare International Airport. Village officials said they plan to host a watch party the day of the game for local businesses.