Postseason Game Pits Sun Belt and MAC
ESPN Regional Television (ERT), a subsidiary of ESPN, announced the creation of the Camellia Bowl, a postseason college football game matching-up the Sun Belt Conference against the Mid-American Conference (MAC) beginning in December 2014. The game will be played yearly at the Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Ala., before the Christmas holiday and be televised nationally on ESPN or ESPN2.
“The Raycom All-Star game helped shine a new light on the city of Montgomery, and we took notice,” said Pete Derzis, Senior Vice President & GM, ESPN Regional Television. “From stadium improvements and opportunities for quality hospitality, to the downtown hotel properties, rich history and the wonderful museums like the Rosa Parks Center, it all came together for us. We have two conference partners excited about the bowl, a community we believe is hungry for a quality postseason event and civic and business leaders that have a great can-do spirit.”
Johnny Williams, former Athletic Director at Troy University for ten years and Senior Associate Athletic Director at the University of Alabama for three years, will be the Bowl’s Executive Director. Williams is the current CEO of Creative Marketing Management (CMM) and his group will manage the event and day-to-day operations of the bowl.
The Cramton Bowl is a 25,000 seat stadium that has undergone significant renovations over the last few years, including a new press box facility, locker rooms and VIP hospitality accommodations.
“The Sun Belt Conference marks a significant moment in its history by partnering with the Mid-American Conference, ESPN, and the city of Montgomery for what will be a tremendously successful bowl game,” said Karl Benson, Sun Belt Conference Commissioner. “Montgomery has all the ingredients for a great bowl game and experience for our student-athletes and fans – a great venue in the renovated Cramton Bowl, a vibrant downtown with many new hotels and restaurants, and a location in the middle of the SBC footprint that will make travel very convenient for fans throughout our league. With every football season the SBC continues to show its strength and deserving place amongst college football’s best and soon a talented SBC team will represent our league well in this exciting new bowl game.”
“The Mid-American Conference is proud to partner in the creation of the Camellia Bowl beginning with the 2014 season,” said Dr. Jon Steinbrecher, Mid-American Conference Commissioner. “The historic Cramton Bowl will be a great venue for our student-athletes and fans. Additionally, Montgomery’s entertainment district will provide a fun and lively bowl experience for all involved. I want to thank all parties involved for their diligence in creating this event, especially Montgomery mayor Todd Strange.”
“The City of Montgomery is honored to be selected as the host City for this new bowl game,” said Mayor Strange. “We applaud ESPN for their commitment and are proud to be partnered with them for this exciting project. We look forward to working with Johnny Williams and congratulate everyone involved for developing a vision that will help uphold the City of Montgomery’s reputation as the Capital of Dreams.”
ESPN Regional Television
ESPN Regional Television (ERT), a subsidiary of ESPN, owns and operates collegiate sporting events worldwide, including two Labor Day Kickoff college football games; nine college bowl games and eight college basketball events. These account for approximately 200 hours of programming, reach almost 64 million viewers and attract nearly half a million attendees each year. The owned and operated events build relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as provide unique experiences for teams and fans. In addition to event ownership, ERT manages the Big 12 Corporate Partner Program.
BBVA Compass Bowl (Birmingham, Ala.); Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl St. Petersburg; Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.); Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise); Gildan New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Las Vegas Bowl; MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney (Orlando, Fla.); Texas Bowl (Houston); AdvoCare Texas Kickoff (Houston); Sheraton Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu) and The Home Depot College Football Awards
Armed Forces Classic (Camp Humphreys, South Korea); Charleston Classic (S.C.); Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu); Jimmy V Men’s & Women’s Basketball Classics presented by Corona Extra (Madison Square Garden & Durham, N.C.); Old Spice Classic (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); Puerto Rico Tip-Off (San Juan, PR); State Farm Champions Classic (United Center, Chicago) and Wooden Legacy (Orange County, Calif.)
For more information, visit espnplus.com.
Creative Marketing Management
Creative Marketing Management (CMM) was founded in the fall of 2007 by Johnny Williams. Williams has extensive experience in college athletics having served as both a coach and athletic director. Williams has also worked with many notable entertainers since he founded CMM.
CMM specializes in all areas of sports business including: event management, Division I transition feasibility studies, assessments of athletic operations (budget, funding sources, compliance, marketing, academics, personnel, recruiting, etc.), executive searches for administrative and head coaching positions, corporate representation, facility design and career management.
For more information, visit cmmsports.net.