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Dodd Trophy gets new platform, new look

Chick-fil-A Bowl to take over management of national award.

ATLANTA (Dec. 30, 2013) – Two of the biggest brands in college football are joining forces.

The Chick-fil-A Bowl, one of the nation’s elite bowl games and future host of the new College Football Playoffs, and the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award, one of college football’s most prestigious national awards, today announced a new strategic partnership and laid out plans for the award’s future.

Beginning in 2014, the Chick-fil-A Bowl will take over day-to-day management of the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award including operations, marketing and branding, sales, and communications. The shared goal of the partnership is to enhance the national platform for the Dodd Trophy and reinforce its position as the most prestigious and most sought-after national coaching award.

“We definitely have an exciting new vision for The Dodd Trophy and its future and this enhanced partnership is the first critical step in the process,” said Gary Stokan, Chick-fil-A Bowl president and CEO. “Our combined efforts in managing this property will leave no doubt that The Dodd Trophy is the Heisman for coaches.”

“The expertise of the Chick-fil-A Bowl staff and its collective resources will bring a new and dynamic element to our brand,” said Jim Terry, chairman of the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation. “It will give us a reinvigorated approach and open some new possibilities for the presentation of The Dodd Trophy.”

Among the initial changes the Chick-fil-A Bowl will implement is the creation of an annual Dodd Dinner that will bring together past winners in Atlanta each year during Chick-fil-A Bowl week. This year, eight former Dodd Trophy winners participated in the first Dodd Dinner including Bill Curry, Fisher DeBerry, Vince Dooley, Ralph Friedgen, Fred Goldsmith, Jim Grobe, Ken Hatfield and Dick Sheridan.

Beyond the annual dinner, the Bowl will institute a new fan voting component to complement the existing voting committee giving the fans a voice in the process that determines the winner. New communications and marketing initiatives will be implemented that will see a makeover to The Dodd Trophy website and the addition of social media platforms to better engage with conferences , teams and fans.

“College football is a sport driven by the passion and loyalty of its fans, and it makes all the sense in the world that the fans should have a voice in this process,” Stokan said. “We want to make sure they can express that passion and connect with The Dodd Trophy in a meaningful ways.”

Most importantly, the focus of The Dodd Trophy will continue to highlight the Award’s link to its philosophies of leadership, scholarship and integrity – the cornerstones of both Bobby Dodd’s coaching philosophy and the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award. These ideals define The Dodd Trophy and separate it from other coaching awards.

The eight former Dodd Trophy winners took part in the announcement of this year’s winner. Duke head coach David Cutcliffe, was officially welcomed by the group of his peers as the 2013 recipient of The Dodd Trophy. Together, the group of coaches and representatives from the Chick-fil-A Bowl and Dodd Foundation unveiled The Dodd Trophy’s new logo as a part of the announcement ceremony.

About the Dodd Trophy
The Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award was established in 1976 to honor the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division 1A) head football coach whose program represents the highest ideals on and off the field. The Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award honors the coach of a team which enjoys a successful football season, while also stressing the importance of academic excellence and character, as did Coach Dodd’s teams during his 22 years as head football coach of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Coach Dodd remains one of college football’s legendary figures, both as a coach and a player. Coach Dodd was a native of Galax, Virginia, and played his college ball at the University of Tennessee where his team had 27 wins, one loss and two ties during the three years he played. Coach Dodd was selected to the National College Football Hall of Fame both as a coach and as a player.

About the Chick-fil-A Bowl
The Chick-fil-A Bowl is the ninth-oldest bowl game in the country and hosts the longest-running rivalry series between the ACC and SEC. Now in its 46th year, the Chick-fil-A Bowl has established itself as one of the nation’s elite bowl games with a string of 16 consecutive sellouts and has earned a reputation as one of the most competitive bowls in the nation. Fifty-six percent of its games have been decided by a touchdown or less. The Chick-fil-A Bowl has disbursed more than $117 million in team payouts over its 45-year history and has increased team payout every year since 1996. The Bowl also leads all other bowl games in charitable and scholarship contributions, giving more than $15 million to organizations in need since 2002. The Chick-fil-A Bowl was a 2008 winner of the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Philanthropy Award and was named a Top 300 Businesses of the South in 2011 by Business Leader Media. The Bowl was also the founding sponsor and original recruiter of the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta. Other events under the Chick-fil-A Bowl brand include the Chick-fil-A Bowl Challenge charity golf tournament each spring and the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game season-opening game over Labor Day weekend.

More information about the Chick-fil-A Bowl and its events is available at www.chick-fil-abowl.com. For news, updates and insider information, follow us on Twitter at @ChickfilABowl or find us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ChickfilABo





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