With 40 college football bowls in existence, each and every one of them is fighting for your attention. Many bowls feature less-than-desirable matchups as far as the participating teams go, so some creativity in the marketing department comes into play in order to “spice” up the game in other ways. Often, that effort includes a catchy or creative logo design. A logo is the face of any business – bowls included. These 10 bowls certainly put on their best faces in 2016.
— Written by J.P. Scott, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. His work has appeared on SI.com, FoxSports.com, Yahoo! and Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.
10. Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman
You’ve got the stars and stripes. You’ve got the capitol building. There’s a football with the USO logo on it. The name of the bowl is obvious with big, bold block letters. This is a perfect example of not trying to do too much and having it work to perfection. Simple, yet classy.
9. Gildan New Mexico Bowl
This bowl is all about location, and the logo is a reflection of that. You have your picturesque desert landscape with a beautiful blue sky and the Zia sun symbol, which also appears on New Mexico’s state flag. And it’s all creatively captured in the shape of a football.
8. Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl
This is a slightly cleaner and classier logo than what was created for the Military Bowl. It has the red, white and blue you’d expect to honor our armed forces. You’ve got a football, which is always a plus. But what sets this off is the military-like font of the letters. This logo looks like a patch you’d find on the uniform of any of the service branches.
7. PlayStation Fiesta Bowl
This classic bowl has had plenty of different sponsors in recent years, and the 2016 edition is no different. I like how they were able to incorporate their newest sponsor with the classic Fiesta Bowl logo and font. The upper portion of the logo, which includes mountains and a saguaro cactus, ties it all together nicely.
6. Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic
There are only a handful of brands where you don’t really mind their name and logo being splashed everywhere. Because of the history of Goodyear and its relationship with college football, I don’t mind how much the company’s name and logo stand out here. Aside from this, you’ve got the roof of AT&T Stadium at the top of the logo and the cotton flower at the lowermost point. This logo is big, bold and classy, just as the original founders of the Cotton Bowl would have wanted.
5. Quick Lane Bowl
This one is the sleeper of all bowl logos. For starters, it is often overlooked – as Detroit is not exactly the sexiest bowl destination. That said, the logo is solid. It’s dominated by Pontiac blue, and has a tire to pay tribute to the motor city and incorporates the logo of perhaps the most appropriate sponsor of any bowl perfectly. It’s a solid logo all around.
4. Las Vegas Bowl Presented by GEICO
I fell in love with this logo at first sight. You’ve got neon lights against black, just like the Vegas night. The shape and overall design are perfectly designed to look good both on uniforms and on the field. My favorite is the neon flamingo-pink “25,” in honor of the game’s 25th anniversary.
3. Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
First and foremost, I just love the idea that Idaho has a bowl. And really, what else would you name it? At first glance, this thing looks like a Super Bowl logo. I love the mountains in the background, as I do with most logos for bowls in mountainous states. But let’s be honest, what sets this one apart is the football doubling as a baked potato topped with sour cream and chives. Brilliant.
2. New Era Pinstripe Bowl
Like everything the Yankee organization does, this logo is sharp, timeless and classy. The New Era billboard is held up by the legendary columns of Yankee Stadium. The football serves as a poignant accent. The font is solid and the two shades of blue blend beautifully. The white in the logo almost begs for it to snow during this game annually just for a great photo. This one is close to perfection.
1. Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual
“The Granddaddy of Them All” sports a logo that is a textbook lesson in how less can be so much more. What else could you possibly add to the logo besides a rose? The green and red in the logo take me back to being a kid and munching on cheese and crackers on New Year’s Day, playing with my new toys with the game on in the background as the college football season wound down. I like how the game itself gets top priority over the sponsor. This is the one bowl logo in college football that can cause a player to question whether or not he’s dreaming when he looks down and sees it sewn onto his jersey.