The Robertsons of television’s Duck Dynasty fame have been in the news a lot lately. Whether it is about their faith, the brief cancellation of their hit show on A&E, or the nasty backlash and strong support that followed patriarch Phil Robertson’s remarks to GQ Magazine regarding his views on homosexuality, the family knows what it is like to be at the center of a controversy. The clan’s next endeavor, however, to sponsor the Duck Commander Independence Bowl, should not raise nearly as many eyebrows.
The former Independence Bowl is played in the Robertsons’ beloved home state of Lousiana. It was actually played under the name the AdvoCare Bowl this past year, but in addition to the Duck Commander brand, the Independence Bowl moniker will be restored next season.
“The Independence Bowl has a long history of bringing valuable and exciting sports entertainment to the Shreveport-Bossier City area,” Independence Bowl Chairman Paul Pratt said. “This is a new day and an excellent opportunity for college football in Louisiana.”
Pratt is ecstatic that the Robertsons are bringing back the name the Independence Bowl, even if it is preceded by their Duck Commander brand. It does seem a bit more endearing to the locals in Shreveport than the AdvoCare Bowl did this past season.
This next endeavor with the Independence Bowl is being hailed as a smart move because it provides a soft landing spot for the Robertsons to promote their Duck Commander brand. Their family is heavily involved in and interested with college football, and many fans within the sport, especially in the football-proud Southeastern Conference, seem to relate with the clan. Also, family patriarch Phil Robertson was actually a very accomplished college quarterback. He led the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs at the position for two years, paving the way for hall of famer Terry Bradshaw, who he kept on the bench for quite a while.
“I had the arm. The ability was there. Bradshaw probably had me a little more on distance,” the elder Robertson said. “I was about a 65-yard man. … Bradshaw… would throw like 70-plus.”
CEO Willie Robertson hopes that Duck Commander’s partnership with the bowl will help to create a unique fan experience that is unlike any other. He says that the Independence Bowl has always been what college football is all about with its all-American atmosphere and its deep appreciation and gratitude for the Armed Services.
“[The Independence Bowl] has great tradition and it’s all-American,” Duck Commander CEO Willie Robertson said. “Add in its Louisiana location and appreciation of the military and it creates a winning partnership for both parties.”
So far, there is no date set for the Duck Commander Independence Bowl, but you can bet that the Robertson clan’s next endeavor will be somewhat of a spectacle whenever it does occur following the 2014 college football regular season. The bowl will make its debut with its new title sponsor just as college football begins shaking up its postseason. Next season will mark the first college football playoff system, or the “plus one” model, which replaces the Bowl Championship Series.
Over the history of the Indepencence Bowl, Duck Commander is actually the game’s sixth sponsor. The Robertsons’ partnership with the bowl is effective for five years until 2019, at which time television broadcasting rights for college football will be renegotiated. The clan’s endeavor into the Duck Commander Independence Bowl might actually bring some needed exposure to the lower-tier bowl.
Commentary by Jeremy Mika