Thursday, June 14, 2001

Hula Bowl
teams up with NFL

A new marketing arrangement
could help attract top talent
to the all-star game

By Paul Arnett

Hula Bowl officials are expected to announce today that they will enter a marketing agreement with the National Football League that will further enhance the oldest college all-star football game.

A press conference is scheduled for today at the Hilton Hawaiian Village involving Hula Bowl officials and a representative from the NFL.

Hula Bowl directors Marcia and Lenny Klompus could not be reached for comment yesterday.

A representative in their office said they were en route from Maui to Honolulu.

A source for the American Football Coaches Association in Waco, Texas, confirmed that the organization will continue its relationship with the Hula Bowl.

It is believed the deal will be for at least five years. The AFCA has played a key role in selecting players and coaches for the game the past four seasons.

Also, ESPN is set to broadcast the game through 2007. Parent company ABC holds the broadcast rights to the Pro Bowl. It is possible the Hula Bowl will be moved to the same weekend as the NFL all-star game to avoid conflict with the NFL-run Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.

The pending marriage with the NFL holds infinite possibilities. In the past the Senior and Hula bowls were vying for the same talent. It was a conflict because both games were played the same weekend.

Maui Mayor James Apana also announced that Maui will continue its relationship with the game through 2008.

Lenny Klompus, chief executive officer of the Hula Bowl, has done what he could the past two years to make the game more NFL-friendly for the scouts, general managers and coaches who have attended the weeklong event.

The new marketing deal should make that relationship firmer still. Oklahoma's Bob Stoops, who led the Sooners to the national championship last year, will be one of the head coaches for the game that has featured some of the top talent on the collegiate scene since it moved to Maui in 1998.

At least 64 of the players in this year's game were either drafted in the NFL or signed free-agent deals, including Heisman Trophy candidate Drew Brees.

The Purdue University quarterback was the first selection of the second round by the San Diego Chargers.

University of Hawaii defensive tackle Doug Sims is one of the Hula Bowl participants to sign a free-agent contract. He inked a deal with the Seattle Seahawks last week.

Four Warriors have been invited to next year's game: safeties Nate Jackson and Jacob Espiau, wideout Craig Stutzmann and defensive end Joe Correia.

E-mail to City Desk

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]

© 2001 Honolulu Star-Bulletin