Ever wonder what kinds of treasures can be found in the New Year’s Bowl Games Swag Bags? Did you even know teams were gifted items just for participating in their event? Much like celebrities who get expensive trinkets for walking in the door, these athletes are presented with tokens of appreciation for their appearance. Although, because of the rules surrounding college compensation, these gifts carry far less monetary value.
According to the Sports Business Journal who publishes the gifts given by every college bowl game, the most common prize is a gift suite. Order forms are given to no more than 125 game participants. They can use these forms to go on a shopping spree with a $550 limit per person. Other items are either provided by the title sponsors of the game, or by the participating schools.
Below are the listed swag bags from the big games on New Year’s Day. They are ranked from the least impressive, to the best of the bunch. Of course, this is all purely subjective and just to have a little fun.
College Football New Year’s Day Bowl Game Swag Bags
5. Allstate Sugar Bowl
Jan. 1, 8:45 PM (ESPN)
Baylor (-1.5) vs Ole Miss
Caesars Superdome (New Orleans)
Swag: Gift suite; Fossil watch; New Era Hat; hooded T-Shirt
The gift-giving committee decided to go all-in on apparel for this particular swag bag. Hats and shirts are safe practical gifts …from your grandma. Also, not sure who missed the memo that the youths are only wearing watches that connect to their phone these days. Expect these to find their way into the hands of parents or little siblings.
We are excited to welcome @BUFootball and @OleMissFB to the #SugarBowl in the @tacobell Live Más Student Section. You won't want to miss out on this opportunity to show off your #StudentSectionSauce. Will we see you there? #TacoBellPartner pic.twitter.com/l4C4GMMZr1
— Allstate Sugar Bowl (@SugarBowlNola) December 28, 2021
4. Rose Bowl presented by Capital One Venture X
Jan. 1, 5 PM (ESPN)
Ohio St. (-4.0) vs Utah
Rose Bowl (Pasadena)
Swag: Gift suite; Fossil watch; Ogio backpack; New Era 9Fity snapback hat
What gave this an edge over the Sugar Bowl’s bounty was the backpack. At the very least, a backpack is practical for anyone, let alone a college student. Even more so for an athlete that has gear to lug to practice every day. Again, the hat and the watch show the collective age of those selecting the gift pool. Not to mention, the Rose Bowl is supposed to be the “Granddaddy of Them All,” right? Wouldn’t you expect a more spectacular showering of gifts from such an event’s New Year’s Bowl Games Swag bag?
3. Outback Bowl
Jan. 1, 12 PM (ESPN2)
Arkansas (-2.0) vs Penn State
Raymond James Stadium (Tampa)
Swag: $150 Amazon gift card; Fossil watch; Jostens ring; $25 Outback Steakhouse gift card; hat
Now we’re talking. Everyone loves cash. Also, everyone loves them a Bloomin’ Onion. Therefore this collection of participation prizes outshines the others in its versatility. You call the shots with gift cards which means you get what you want. On top of that, they get a cool ring keepsake, which people still value. Oh yeah, the watch and the hat are still there too.
2. Vrbo Citrus Bowl
Jan. 1, 1 PM (ABC)
Iowa vs Kentucky (-3.0)
Camping World Stadium (Orlando)
Swag: $400 Amazon gift card, Fossil watch; Ogio backpack; commemorative football
Kudos to the Citrus Bowl committee for stepping up the game with a $400 reward for playing in their playground. A lot can be done with that type of money, especially with the benefits of Prime shipping added to the mix. Plus, whatever they buy, they can carry around in their new backpack. Or, they can put it in the closet alongside a football they likely won’t look at for many years. And look, that pesky watch keeps hitchhiking into everyone’s New Year’s Bowl Games Swag bags.
— Vrbo Citrus Bowl (@CitrusBowl) December 27, 2021
1. Playstation Fiesta Bowl
Jan. 1, 1 PM (ESPN)
Notre Dame (-2.0) vs Oklahoma State
State Farm Stadium (Glendale, Arizona)
Swag: Playstation 5 console and a TBD game
Honestly, this is a young college student’s love language. The holidays cleaned out most of the world of the Playstation 5 stockpiles. Now, by simply participating in this game, these young athletes will get one of the most coveted possessions of the year. Also, think of how cool it will be for them to play themselves in either the NCAA football game set to come out soon, or maybe even on Madden someday. This is far and away the best New Year’s Bowl Games Swag bag of the season.