Visit to Sugar Bowl to cost UH millions
» UH will benefit all around, top agent says
» More guests than staff get paid trips to game
$2 million is "a good guesstimate" on how much money the University of Hawaii at Manoa will take in after travel expenses from the Allstate Sugar Bowl, athletic director Herman Frazier said yesterday in an interview.
But costs and even the amount of money that UH-Manoa will get from the Bowl Championship Series game are still being figured out, he cautioned.
Boise State University spent about $1.5 million to bring its football team to Hawaii for the Hawaii Bowl, and UH-Manoa is likely to spend as much or more on its trip, Frazier said.
Normally, UH administrators have several months to plan mainland football trips. This trip is on a much larger scale and is being planned in just a few weeks.
"This is a large undertaking for us," Frazier said. "It's the first time since 1992 that the university has had to move its football team to a bowl game."
The university is spending about $700,000 to $750,000 on a Hawaiian Airlines jet to take the 113-member football team, and two Aloha Airlines jets to take the 17 coaches; 48 athletic department administrators and staff; 281 band members, cheerleaders, Rainbow Dancers and staff; family members; and VIPs to New Orleans starting this afternoon.
Then there is the expense of lodging, meals and ground transportation.
The University of Hawaii also is allowed to buy a gift for each football player going to the game with a value of up to $350.
Some contracts for meals and lodging still have to be signed, so it is not clear yet what the total bill for the travel expenses will be, Frazier said.
"It is a business trip for us," Frazier said. "The money we'll be able to save on expenses will help our bottom line."
The university is expected to receive about $4.5 million for its appearance in the game.
But there are a number of variables that will influence what UH-Manoa will get, Frazier said. In the complicated Bowl Championship Series formula, the payout depends, in part, on where the Warriors end up in the final college football rankings and where the Western Athletic Conference ranks compared with other conferences, Frazier said.
Frazier and UH-Manoa Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw will meet after the game to decide how to spend the money the university takes in from the Sugar Bowl.
Some expenses still to be determined include bonuses for coach June Jones and the assistant coaches, and the cost of rings for the players. It is not clear yet if those costs will come out of the Sugar Bowl revenues or from another source, Frazier said.
No matter what the costs, the benefits from UH playing in the Sugar Bowl are more than financial, Frazier said.
More people will likely watch the Sugar Bowl than have seen all the other televised UH games combined, Frazier said.
And that increased exposure will help the school in enrollment, fundraising and recruiting, he said.
Sugar Bowl Expenses
Here is a rough breakdown of some of the costs for the University of Hawaii at Manoa to go to the Sugar Bowl. Some of the expenses are still being calculated.
Air transportation: $700,000 to $750,000
Ground transportation: Not available
Hotel: About 1,500 to 1,800 room nights at rates of between $165 to $172 a night
Meals: Roughly $75,000 for group meals
Per diem: UH football players get a per diem for meals and expenses of about $45 a day, minus meals that are provided. Band members, cheerleaders and dancers get the same amount. Most state employees traveling with the team have a meal per diem of up to $45 per day. Executive and management employees are allowed up to the federal per diem of $59 per day for meals and incidentals.
Gifts: The university is allowed to buy gifts for each football player at a retail cost of up to $350 per player.
Source: UH-Manoa athletic department and UH system administration
UH will benefit all around, top agent says
The success of the University of Hawaii football team this year will help contributions to all areas of the university in coming years, according to sports agent Leigh Steinberg.
Everything from endorsements, licensing partners and alumni donations to product and ticket sales will continue to rise because of the publicity surrounding quarterback Colt Brennan and coach June Jones, Steinberg said.
"There has been more national press coverage of the UH football program in this last year maybe than the whole history of Hawaii football combined," he said. "And much of it revolves around Colt Brennan."
Steinberg, who has represented National Football League players including Matt Leinart and Ben Roethlisberger, said articles about the team have appeared in dozens of major mainland publications, and it has been featured on radio and television shows. This national spotlight has helped reconnect alumni worldwide, he said.
"There's no one who went to the University of Hawaii who lives anywhere in the world that is unaware of the fact that the football team is undefeated," said Steinberg, who also represents Jones. "It renews interest in the university, and it triggers big gifts."
That, in turn, fuels donations to the UH athletic department as well as other areas of the university. It also helps raise the profile of Hawaii as a tourist destination, said Steinberg, who once helped the school develop its marketing and branding strategies.
"It ended up being a perfect storm of publicity," he said. "This last year has been like a picture postcard for Hawaii football, for the University of Hawaii and the state of Hawaii."
Steinberg said Brennan's success reminds him of former University of Southern California star Reggie Bush, who he said had one of the biggest endorsement packages of any player coming out of college. Bush's contracts, worth more than $5 million, are unrealistic for most players, the best of whom sign for shoe, trading card and food endorsements, Steinberg said.
Brennan still faces his biggest challenge in next Tuesday's Sugar Bowl against the Georgia Bulldogs, he said. His play this season, as well as his performance at the game and at different camps later, will determine any possible signing deal.
"He will be playing in the most watched game of his life," Steinberg said. "It wouldn't be a surprise that the Georgia players will be bigger, stronger, faster and deeper than he has faced."
The exposure would bring "untold millions," he said. Another burst of national publicity is expected before the bowl game.
"Economically, it means short-term revenue for Colt Brennan," he said. "It means the same for June Jones. But it can be a window to completely remake an athletic department - to completely reshape the public view of a university."
More guests than staff get paid trips to game
The number of "family members" of University of Hawaii athletic department staff traveling to the Sugar Bowl at UH expense outnumbers the working staff on the trip.
A tentative total of 65 staff members are headed to New Orleans, while their guests total 72, according to figures provided by UH yesterday.
The first of three chartered planes carrying the department's traveling party of 542 is scheduled to leave for New Orleans tonight. UH-Manoa Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw also has a separate list of invited guests, athletic director Herman Frazier said.
Some of the people listed as "family members" on the athletic department list are spouses and children of coaches, administrative staff and support staff. A few are longtime "significant others" and their children.
Frazier said all 65 staffers traveling will be working. He also said no football players, band members or dance and cheer squad members were displaced by staff guests.
"Every single person who is on our payroll who's on this trip has a working responsibility," Frazier said.
The game, matching 10th-ranked Hawaii (12-0) against fourth-ranked Georgia (10-2), is next Tuesday at the Louisiana Superdome. It is the first Bowl Championship Series game in UH history.
By the numbers
Tentative breakdown of UH athletic department personnel traveling to Sugar Bowl at state or bowl proceed expense:
Coaching staff: 17 and 30 family/guests
Administrative staff: 17 and 28 family/guests
Support staff: 31 and 14 family/guests
Participating student-athletes: 113 and 11 family
Participating band, dance, cheer: 281
Coaching staff includes football administrative staff, graduate assistants, strength and conditioning, and video staff. Administrative staff includes compliance, business office, marketing, general counsel and academic support staff. Support staff includes sports medicine, equipment, ticket office, media relations, security, academic support, football managers and band, dance and cheer staff.
Source: UH athletic department