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Mr. Keith Tribble
October 29, 2003
STATEMENT OF KEITH R. TRIBBLE,
(Although the Orange Bowl is a participant in the Bowl Championship Series, I am not appearing here today in that BCS capacity.)
Over the last quarter century, I have had the opportunity to participate in collegiate athletics and the Bowl system from three separate and unique perspectives, as a football player at the University of Florida under Coach Doug Dickey, as a collegiate athletics administrator at Florida and the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, and as a Bowl executive with the former Blockbuster Bowl and currently with the Orange Bowl Committee.
I have led the Orange Bowl Committee organization since 1993 after spending two years as the Senior Associate Athletic Director at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). Prior to UNLV, I spent 1990-92 as Executive Director of Sunshine Festival Football, Inc., overseeing the creation and development of the Blockbuster Bowl, which later became the Tangerine Bowl, in Orlando. My first foray into collegiate athletics came at my alma mater, the University of Florida, where I worked from 1981-89, eventually rising to Associate Athletic Director.
Orange Bowl Committee
Football Bowl Association
To successfully stage a community-based bowl festival, Bowl organizations are comprised of two key areas: (1) human resources and (2) financial support.
Human Resources for a Bowl Organization
To begin, Bowl volunteerism can be defined in two key areas: (a) committee membership and (b) community volunteers. At the OBC, our membership consists of 304 community and business leaders, including Senators Bob Graham and Bill Nelson and Governor Jeb Bush. The OBC organization is managed under the direction of 23 members of the Board of Directors. The OBC ambassador program is annually comprised of up to 1,000 community-based volunteers. These individuals represent the diverse composition of the Florida community.
Secondly, employment at Bowl organizations is categorized by two classifications: (a) full-time and (b) non full-time. At the OBC, there are currently 24 full-time employees who are responsible for the day-to-day management of the organization. To support their efforts, the OBC provides opportunities for a minimum of 16 non full-time employees for either work experience and/or college credit, and internships. As the CEO, I am responsible for the organization's overall administration including, but not limited to, executive, business, corporate sales, ticket sales, marketing, communications, ticket operations, event operations and membership services.
The final component to assist the Bowl's committee membership, volunteer base and staff is with the support of business vendors. These arrangements are comprised through two key areas: (a) tourism and (b) operational partnerships. Tourism alliances include, but are not limited to, hotel, restaurant and transportation industries. Operational support is secured through relationships which include, among others, stadium facilities, as well as product and service companies. At the OBC, business partnerships have been secured in the hotel, restaurant and transportation areas, as well as the cruise industry.
Financial Support for a Bowl Organization
To begin, the viability of a Bowl game rests on its ability to generate local ticket sales. Each individual Bowl must develop an effective marketing and promotions campaign that targets the make-up of its individual constituency. It is important to note that the success of each bowl's annual ticket sales has a direct impact on the organizing committee's ability to fund its festival the following year. At the OBC, an effective campaign targeting our diverse population has been successful in securing approximately 2,800 ticket patron accounts.
In order to underwrite a Bowl and festival, the host Bowl organization must also secure the support of corporate sponsorships, locally, regionally and nationally. For the Orange Bowl Festival, the OBC has successfully secured approximately 150 corporate partners.
Moreover, each Bowl organization must secure national distribution of its property through an effective partnership with national television and radio. (Without such national exposure the viability of the bowls will be threatened.) Through our successful participation in the Bowl Championship Series, the OBC was able to secure a national television and radio partnership for the FedEx Orange Bowl with ABC Sports and ESPN Radio, respectively.
Finally, each Bowl organization must engage the support of local and regional governmental partners. This includes city, county, state and tourism agencies. At the OBC, we have been successful in securing the support of local government as well as local and state tourism agencies.
Merits of the Postseason Collegiate Bowl System
Bowl Games Are College Football
The top two teams in the Bowl Championship Series rankings will square-off in the National Championship Game, this year in the Nokia Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, Louisiana. The BCS ranking, popularly debated and questioned, includes not only the two most notable poll systems, from the editorial staff of the Associated Press and from the Division I-A head coaches who make up the ESPN/USA Today edition, but also six computer polls and the objectivity of team records and strength of schedule of each team.
In my quarter-century associated with the sport of college football, the postseason college football Bowl experience is something I personally do not want to see diminished during the prolonged discussions regarding our Bowl system and its ability to bring finality to the college football season. Half of the 56 qualifying teams will come away from these games as Bowl champions and take with them a feeling of reward that will last throughout the following spring practice period and into the approaching season, as well as for the rest of their lives.
Bowls Provide New and Unique Experiences
Financial Contributions to Higher Education
The FedEx Orange Bowl paid out a combined $28,666,666 in 2003 to its participating institutions and conferences and is projected to payout to its participants $29,500,000 following the 2004 game. Over the past 10 years, the FedEx Orange Bowl has paid out a just short of $200 million and, through its history, the Orange Bowl has paid out a total of nearly $300 million to its participant institutions.
Increased Fan Attendance
Benefits from Media Exposure
Economic Impact on the Host Community
According to Sport Management Research Institute (SMRI), the 2000-2001 Orange Bowl Festival, which included the FedEx Orange Bowl National Championship football game, generated an economic impact of $107.3 million to the South Florida area. An additional $77.5 million in added promotional value was derived from staging the Orange Bowl Festival during a National Championship year. The indirect and induced economic impacts increased by more than three percent, along with more than $7 million generated by local, state and federal taxes. In addition, the opportunity to showcase the Bowl venue has a continuing impact on the venue's tourism and economy far past any individual game.
With proceeds from ticket sales to the 2002 FedEx Orange Bowl, the Orange Bowl Foundation (OBF) was able to honor and provide for victims of September 11. The OBF helped a single father of three kids, who was laid off by a local hotel and was on the verge of being homeless by paying his bills in the month of December. The OBF then partnered with the Salvation Army of Miami-Dade and Broward counties to help non-chronic homeless in South Florida affected by the events of 9/11. As a lasting memorial, the OBF also awarded $30,000 to renovate the Coconut Grove Sailing Center. This center is host of the Shake-A- Leg Program, which works with handicapped children and with which we have a long-standing relationship with our only water-related event; the Sailing Regatta.
The OBF also donates $25,000 annually to the Orange Bowl Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund, benefiting high school seniors wanting to attend historically black colleges and universities. Over the last three years, the foundation has donated more than $75,000.
In partnership with the Kiwanis Club of Little Havana, the OBF initiated a Scholarship Endowment Fund. The OBF contributed $25,000 for four straight years to be matched dollar-for-dollar by Kiwanis to create a $200,000 permanent fund that will endow scholarships in perpetuity. The Orange Bowl/Kiwanis Fund awarded full tuition and books to two students.
Five years ago, the OBC created the Orange Bowl Youth Football League (OBYFL), a regional partnership between independent parks sponsoring youth football and cheerleading. The OBYFL represents 70,000 stakeholders, including 20,000 tacklers, 10,000 cheerleaders and 40,000 coaches, parents and volunteers. Throughout the state, the OBC underwrites the staging of postseason competitions as well as marketing programs including a weekly television show, newsletter, website and promotional activities. For the last three years, the OBF has also issued grants to the participants of the OBYFL. The seven individual leagues have been awarded more than $60,000 over the last three seasons, to be used for expenses incurred during their football seasons leading up to the Orange Bowl-funded "Bowl Before The Bowl" and "Cheer to the FedEx Orange Bowl" championship events.