Duck Commander Takes Title Sponsorship of Independence Bowl In Unique Deal

By Paul Birdwell (

If there is one thing we hear over and over again from the companies we talk to about sponsoring the events we represent it is that they really want…

BANG for Their Sponsorship BUCK

…..and that is because every marketing Dollar spent in today’s world needs to return “X” amount of business to a company and sponsorship Dollars are competing right along with every other marketing channel and thus sponsorships better dang hit their target.

A great example of an event, agency and company thinking “out of the box” recently was the hit TV series Duck Commander agreeing to become the Title Sponsor of the Independence Bowl college football game which was a deal put together by Bill Glenn and The Breakout Group in Dallas, Texas:


I-Bowl, Duck Commander form unique partnership, Roy Lang III, The News Star

“Although Shreveport’s postseason college football game can’t match the net worth of the stars of “Duck Dynasty,” the game’s officials can certainly sympathize with tireless hours and questions about whether the business can and should remain open.

For the Independence Bowl, those lean times didn’t just take place in its infancy. With every departure of a title sponsor came gloom and doom from outsiders and a fear the gates at Independence Stadium would be forever locked to such an event.

But again, thanks to a creative title sponsorship package with Duck Commander, the Independence Bowl marches on.

Bill Glenn of The Breakout Group in Dallas created and brokered an unprecedented agreement between the I-Bowl and Duck Commander. Instead of the typical deal where the title sponsor writes a fat check, this relationship has several different layers.

The deal’s current structure (under terms stated by a letter of intent) gives the Independence Bowl Foundation the opportunity to leverage the red-hot Duck Commander brand throughout the year. In addition, Duck Commander will bring some of its partners to the table to create synergies (sponsorships/revenue) with the foundation.

“I wish I could claim (the idea of the sponsorship package),” Robertson said of Glenn’s concept. “They had it where it would make sense. They knew I would tear (the deal) apart and figure it out. By the time they brought it to me, it was unique, it was different. I loved the opportunity. I said, ‘Yeah, let’s go for it.’”

Bowl leaders are hopeful, under this structure, the grand total of dollars generated by the “title sponsor” has the potential to exceed that of your typical sticker price (the most recent tag ran AdvoCare about $800,000 per year). Thursday, Duck Commander Independence Bowl executive director Missy Setters declined to comment on the title sponsorship structure. However, Wednesday, she stated she expected the agreement between Duck Commander and the game to be guaranteed for “at least” three years.

The ability to leverage multiple assets involved with Duck Commander and the creation of personal appearances and events can help raise the level of awareness and value of the Independence Bowl brand.

“I’ve been a fan of the bowl, so for us to be able to be involved — we’re just going to come up with some really cool ways to make it a super experience for the fans,” Robertson said. “What we can help bring to the table — certainly with the notoriety that we have — I think it will be a good fit. North Louisiana should be proudly represented.”

There are very few instances where this would work. IBM could write a $1 million check to put its name on a bowl game, but the subsequent dollars the game could generate, simply because it’s named the “IBM Bowl” would be minimal. There is nothing wrong with a large, one-off deposit. However, the Independence Bowl wasn’t exactly in the position to call its own shot of that magnitude. Is there more uncertainty under this plan? Sure, but Glenn’s idea could prove ingenious and certainly fits into the I-Bowl’s means.

The I-Bowl can tether itself to Duck Commander during its mission to be on the community’s mind on a year-round basis, not just during the final week of December.”


That is some innovative thinking to say the least and this new Title Sponsorship deal will no doubt keep the folks at the Independence Bowl busy year-round making sure that they are generating buzz in their local community of Shreveport, across the state of Louisiana and across the country which if done right might put the Independence Bowl into a position where it is one of the better known college football bowls in America.


In many ways Duck Commander becoming the Title Sponsor of the Independence Bowl is a throwback to an age when well-known media personalities put their own names on PGA Tour events which included some great tournament names from the past…

The Bob Hope Desert Classic

The Bing Crosby National Pro-Am

The Danny Thomas Classic

The Glen Campbell Los Angeles Open

The Jackie Gleason Inverrary Classic

….with the events often leveraging their “name” Title Sponsors to attract both public and media attention to their events on a year-round basis.

Kudos to Willie Robertson of Duck Commander, Bill Glenn of The Breakout Group and the Independence Bowl for coming up with a new and fascinating way to put together a large Title Sponsorship that we just might try ourselves for a couple of the events that the Roaring Fork Agency is now representing.

Independence Bowl –

Duck Commander –

Bill Glenn – The Breakout Group – www.twitter/Sponczar

If you have any questions about event sponsorship or venue naming rights contact the Roaring Fork Agency at:

San Francisco, California – 415 730 – 4854

Seattle, Washington – 206 717 – 4854

Bend, Oregon – 541 237 – 8080

Twitter - @RoaringForkAgcy