Bob Hope Airport is aiming for a financial touchdown with a new marketing agreement with UCLA Athletics and the Rose Bowl that will tap into the university’s millions of sports fans.
The Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority on Monday unanimously approved spending $327,000 over the next three years on a contract that will position Bob Hope as the official airport of the Rose Bowl.
That designation includes signage at the stadium, a special logo, promotion on the video board during UCLA football games and inclusion in all print publications, such as the Rose Bowl Stadium Guide.
The agreement, which goes into effect May 15, includes three ticket giveaways to be promoted on social media and radio that will have the contest winners flying into or out of the Burbank airport.
The giveaways will feature the Rose Bowl New Year’s Day football game, a UCLA football game at the University of Oregon and the PAC-12 men’s basketball tournament in Las Vegas.
The agreement is through marketing firm IMG College, based in Winston-Salem, N.C., which represents 76 universities nationwide.
The airport decided to partner with IMG College as a result of suggestions from officials at the Oakland International Airport, which entered into a similar agreement with IMG last year to be affiliated with the University of California, Berkeley for five years.
Damon Dukakis, of IMG Sports, told the Airport Authority that his company calculated there are 2.3 million UCLA sports fans in Southern California — and 1.3 million of them flew out of an airport in the L.A. Basin, which includes Los Angeles International Airport and John Wayne Airport, during the past 12 months.
However, only 19% of them used Bob Hope Airport.
In order for the promotion to cover its costs, the airport would have to attract from 5,000 to 10,000 new passengers annually, based on an estimated $10 to $20 earned per customer, according to Dan Feger, the airport’s executive director.
The projections vary because some customers may opt for valet parking and a meal at an airport concession while others may be dropped off at the curb, having eaten elsewhere.
Dukakis said the promotion would let the airport not only target UCLA sports fans, but encourage more business from UCLA in general.
“This is truly creating a partnership, and we envision a partnership to be much more than just what’s written on a piece of paper,” he said. “We think there are many opportunities to move above and beyond the assets we’ve presented here.”
Dukakis said the partnership would also provide an opportunity to try and convince UCLA Athletics to move chartered and commercial flights it books from LAX to Bob Hope.