Friday, January 14, 2011

The college bowl compensation system

Now that the 2010-2011 bowl season is in our rearview mirror, let's take one last look at the compensation structure for the 22 bowls which are considered by the Internal Revenue Service to be nonprofit organizations. If you want exhibit A for why those involved in the bowl system don't wish to change it, here you go.

Liberty Bowl: No executive compensation information is available.

GoDaddy Bowl: No executive compensation information is available.

Gator Bowl: No executive compensation information is available.

New Orleans Bowl: No paid employees; the bowl is run by the CEO of the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation.

Humanitarian Bowl: Humanitarian Bowl Inc. has no employees but lists payroll expenses of $200,599.

Military Bowl: Executive Director = $37,500

Insight Bowl: President/CEO = $97,401 (see Fiesta Bowl)

Independence Bowl: Executive Director = $110,217

Sun Bowl: Executive Director = $166,088

Capital One Bowl: Executive Director = $242,584

Holiday Bowl and Poinsettia Bowl: Executive Director = $261,496

Rose Bowl: CEO = $277,929

Fiesta Bowl: President and CEO = $317,717 (plus $97,401 for managing the Insight Bowl)

Orange Bowl: CEO = $357,722

Fight Hunger Bowl: Executive Director = $377,475

Alamo Bowl: President = $419,045

Cotton Bowl: Vice Chairman = $419,873

Chick-Fil-A Bowl: President = $504,444

Sugar Bowl: Executive Director = $645,386

Outback Bowl: President and CEO = $808,032

The compensation numbers for most of these bowls are staggering, but that's not all--many execs involved with bowls receive incentive comp as well. As an example, the executive director of the Fight Hunger Bowl receives a bonus of 10% of television rights fees, 7.5% of the game's title sponsorship fees and 5% of the association's overall surplus for the fiscal year. As another perk example, the execs from the Orange, Fiesta and Rose Bowl are paid to fly first class.

In the case of the major bowls, the other staff members rake in nice compensation packages too. The Chief Administration Officer of the Rose Bowl makes a base salary of $193,959 while the COO of the Fiesta Bowl makes $168,368.

The bowl games are single games with associated events scheduled around the bowl day or evening. While there is much involved in making these games happen--selling sponsorships, tickets and the like--the responsibilities pale in comparison to peer level jobs leading national governing bodies for Olympic sports, or those of their constituents in Athletic Director positions at major universities.

If you still need convincing that the system is broken, chew on this final piece of data--the compensation packages for four execs (Jim McVay, Outback Bowl, $808,032; Paul Hoolahan, Sugar Bowl, $645,386; John Junker, $592,418, Fiesta and Insight Bowls; and Gary Stokan, Chick-Fil-A Bowl, $504,444) were higher than the total team payouts for the R&L Carrier and Humanitarian Bowls.

(Source: Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal)

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