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February 28 09:36 AM

Duck Commander becomes I-Bowl title sponsor

“A perfect fit” is how some people described Duck Commander’s new title sponsorship with the Independence Bowl.

The news of the sponsorship, which had been rumored for several days previously, was officially announced Wednesday afternoon.

“I would like to thank Duck Commander for their generosity and flexibility in making this partnership come together,” said incoming Independence Bowl Chairman Paul Pratt. “I would also like to recognize Duck Commander’s willingness — in fact, their insistence — that the word ‘Independence’ be reinstated in this bowl.”

The “Independence” name was dropped last year, and the game was known as the AdvoCare V100 Bowl.

“We believe this is important to the bowl and to our community because of the critical link to our history as well as the important reflection of why we chose to appreciate the military as a part of the bowl festivities,” Pratt said. “I am personally looking forward to the Duck Commander Independence Bowl.”

Now, AdvoCare has dropped its sponsorship of the bowl, and Duck Commander, the West Monroe-based company that manufactures duck calls and other hunting items and is the subject of the hit A&E reality series “Duck Dynasty,” has taken over, to the delight of the many dignitaries on hand for the official announcement.

Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover even attended dressed in a camouflage getup.

Many expressed delight to have a Louisiana-based company — especially one in North Louisiana — attach its name to the local collegiate football bowl game.

“Over time, I am confident that we will create a bowl experience that is not like any other bowl event in Louisiana — in fact, in the nation,” said Pratt.

“We’re able to bring those fine things from Louisiana, like football, cuisine, music and outdoors, and it’s not just in December, but year round.”

Bill Glenn, president of The Breakout Group, a marketing consulting firm, was the chief architect in bringing Duck Commander on board with the Independence Bowl.

“When you seek a new title sponsor, there are several elements you have to consider. One is the context of your event, which, of course, in this case, is college football. The second is the history of your event and the location of your event,” Glenn said.

“When you look at the Independence Bowl, obviously there’s a rich history of college football; it has a great connection to military appreciation, to patriotism. When you look at the state of Louisiana as a location, it obviously offers great cuisine, sportsman’s paradise and the outdoors, offers wonderful music and, of course, great college football.

“When you look at Duck Com mander, Buck Commander, the Robertson family, and you think about those elements I just talked about, this partnership made perfect sense.

“Not only that, but the statistics back it up: 49 percent of hunters are college football fans; 10 million college football fans have hunted in the last 12 months, and in fact, that group is 54 percent more likely than the general public to hunt,” said Glenn, who decided, “We can make a great event even better.”

Glenn said the partnership of Duck Commander and the Independence Bowl will be “a different experience for fans.”

Over time, he said, anchor events will be planned — not just in December, but throughout the year — to spotlight those elements he mentioned.

“This partnership, make no mistake, is about enhancing and expanding the fans’ experience with the Duck Commander Inde pendence Bowl,” Glenn said. “The possibilities really are almost endless. You can go from crawfish boils and cook-offs in cuisine, you can go to hunting-related activities, music concerts, and, of course, the bowl game itself as the centerpiece.”

Asked what his reaction was to the news of the new partnership, Mayor Cedric Glover said, “To coin a phrase, happy, happy, happy.

“Obviously, this is great news.

We talked about the idea of being able to seek bowl sponsorship connected to something that is truly Louisiana. … The idea of being able to connect this to something that is grounded in Louisiana, and in this case, North Louisiana, is something that we think is truly special and has the ability to be able to give us the platform to grow this into something that’s even bigger. … And we have the opportunity to be able to grow this brand and make it even bigger and better.”

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