Spon­sors pleased by Ba­hamas Bowl

Safety Thomp­son will leave Alabama early for NFL draft

The Detroit News - - SPORTS - De­troit News wire ser­vices

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.

Butch Dill/As­so­ci­ated Press

Deionte Thomp­son will not re­turn for Alabama next sea­son. He has al­ready grad­u­ated.

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