Sponsors pleased by Bahamas Bowl
Safety Thompson will leave Alabama early for NFL draft
Elk Grove Village, Ill. — Suburban Chicago officials have called their $300,000 sponsorship of a nationally televised college football bowl game a success, but they plan to wait for additional data before deciding whether to sponsor another.
Businesses from cities such as Houston and New York City have contacted Elk Grove Village about business opportunities following the village’s sponsorship of the Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl in the Bahamas, the Daily Herald reported.
The move was 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 sponsorship idea was initially met with mixed reactions from residents who feared that it would be a waste of money.
Mayor Craig Johnson said the sponsorship successfully promoted the industrial park. He said the campaign’s website had a spike of nearly 20,000 hits in December, up from a couple thousand during the previous months.
“Our goal throughout this whole process was to get our name throughout the world in a positive, pro-business way, and we did that,” he said.
Village officials plan to evaluate statistics from three sources: Red Caffeine, which has handled advertising and marketing for Elk Grove since the campaign launch in 2015; 4FRONT, a sports marketing firm that helped broker the sponsorship deal; and ESPN.
Officials have until March 1 to decide if they want to sponsor the game for the same fee this year.
Tiden’s Thompson to NFL
All-America safety Deionte Thompson has joined a growing crowd of Alabama players leaving early for the NFL draft.
Thompson announced his decision Sunday on Twitter. He’s the sixth Crimson Tide underclassman to leave early.
Thompson was a consensus All-American in his first season as the starter. He made 79 tackles and had two interceptions and four forced fumbles.
Thompson, who has already graduated, says his experience at Alabama was “undeniably life-changing and an experience that I wouldn’t trade for the world.” He’s widely projected as a potential first-round pick.
Cornerback Saivion Smith announced Saturday that he’s turning pro. A day earlier, left tackle Jonah Williams, defensive lineman Quinnen Williams, tailback Josh Jacobs and tight end Irv Smith Jr. declared for the draft.
Deionte Thompson will not return for Alabama next season. He has already graduated.