Judging by the immediate reaction on social media, most Miami players seem happy to be heading to the Russell Athletic Bowl.
They’ll be pleased to know they’re about to get — and be able to give — some outstanding Christmas gifts.
One of the perks of playing in a bowl game is the bowl-game swag, which includes branded apparel and usually one or two centerpiece gifts. Sports Business Journal does an annual breakdown of all the stuff, and the Russell Athletic Bowl always comes in near the top.
This year, Miami and West Virginia players will get a $300 Best Buy shopping trip, a watch from the Timely Watch Co., sandals from ISlide, a beach towel and an athletic performance pullover (from Russell Athletic, obviously).
And not to trash any of the other bowls, but that lineup includes by far the best “wow” gift of the ACC’s top-tier games (as in, the games that could have selected Miami).
The Pinstripe Bowl hands out “a variety of New Era products,” and that’s cool. Hats are great. The Belk Bowl provides a shopping trip to its namesake department store, and if you are in need of khakis, my friend, you are in luck. The Sun Bowl has a “gift suite,” which means a variety of products. Who knows.
Shout-out to the TaxSlayer, which gives out a very cool custom product: a bobblehead with a player’s face, name and uniform number. Original is good.
But look, nothing’s beating that Best Buy gift card.
When Miami went to the Russell Athletic Bowl in 2013, the most popular items among the Hurricanes were Beats by Dre headphones, XBox One gaming systems, iPad Air and Samsung Galaxy tablets and various DVDs. The hottest items this year, according to Best Buy, are blu-ray players, iPhone 7s, Powerbeats3 headphones, Apple Watches and ChromeCast Ultra.
In 2013, players treated themselves, but also took care of family members. That’s the best part, really. While mom will appreciate that Ogio backpack with the Sun Bowl logo, she’ll really appreciate an Apple Watch.