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Media Bowl Gifts

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by alex.riley21, Jan 3, 2011.

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  1. alex.riley21

    alex.riley21 Member

    Cliche as it sounds, I got into this business because I loved sports and I love hearing/retelling a good story. I love insight as to what is going on behind just the game action.

    BUT, I won't lie - now that I've been in the industry, I like the little perks that come along with it, specifically the free stuff. With that in mind, I'm just curious if you covered a bowl this season, what (if anything) did you get? Also, how was media hospitality?

    I'll start:

    Armed Forces Bowl: Nice red jacket. B+ on hospitality area. Plenty of info and drinks but small. Great service from the staffers though.

    Cotton Bowl: Heavy duty bookbag with laptop holding capability. A++ on the hospitality area. Two pool tables, two ping pong tables, a poker table, shuffleboard table, fooseball table and two pinball machines, all free. Plenty of drinks (Soda, milk, water, juice, coffee, beer and wine) and snacks (tons of candy) and a solid meal at night.

    *Texas Bowl: No gift. No comment on the hospitality area. The reason for the * is I arrived the day of the bowl. The media room was a tiny area with one table but could have been bigger before that. And there might have been a media gift but I never saw anybody with anything.
  2. podunk press

    podunk press Active Member

    Ethically, I almost always pass on everything, including the media meals if I can get away with it. Besides, I'd much rather have Subway.

    That being said, I still use a bag from a bowl that shall remain nameless I picked up nearly one decade ago.
  3. Matt Stephens

    Matt Stephens Well-Known Member

    In terms of ethics, I never saw the problem taking a meal or gift at a bowl game. It's not from a school and won't influence your game story.

    I love my New Mexico Bowl pullover fleece and wear it all the time. That thing is comfy!
  4. alex.riley21

    alex.riley21 Member

    I'm lucky to work at a paper that could care less about taking that stuff. I'm not a full-time college guy and our office is really small. In fact before I got here at year and a half ago, no one had ever thought about covering college sports so it's pretty cool. BUT, on and off that same tanget, I don't get paid enough to turn down a free laptop bag or coat. That's $50 saved in my opinion.
  5. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    I still have and use a laptop bag from the Independence Bowl that I got about 10 years ago.
    Got a windbreaker thing from the Cotton Bowl last year. It's nice -- and the logos on it aren't obnoxious, which is a big plus -- but it's a bit too thin to wear as a jacket if it's under 60 degrees.

    My Cotton Bowl experience was top-notch, too. Besides all the goodies you describe, they had a "media olympics" the night before the bowl, with tournaments in pool, Wii bowling and ping pong. First place in each one was a flat screen TV, second place was a phone and third was a remote control car.
    Talking to some industry veterans there, the Cotton Bowl has a well-earned reputation as one of the best in catering to the media.
  6. inthesuburbs

    inthesuburbs Member

    No wonder editors are eager to pay to send us out of town on stories. You went to cover a game, and participated in a Wii bowling tournament instead?

    Accepting a gift (or "prize") from anyone you cover = bush league. Wearing a jacket or fleece from an event you cover = amateur.
  7. Point of Order

    Point of Order Active Member

    Not instead. In addition to. Big difference. Sounds like someone hasn't covered a decent bowl game yet. Get over yourself.
  8. Totally. You recognize this because you're a pro. Where I come from, we laugh at losers who wear swag. It's pitiful. Go buy some freaking clothes and cover the damn event without acting like a foof.
  9. Precious Roy

    Precious Roy Active Member

    You are acting like the guy is walking around holding it up in the air saying, "I COVERED THE XXXXX BOWL, COWER TO MY SUPERIOR SPORTS JOURNALISM."
    That's not how I see it at all. The bowl wants to give me junk, I'm taking it. The only time I ever talk about a bowl game in my story is when I say the team is playing in the XXXX Bowl, and that's it. Any bowl swag I do get, I don't wear on the job. That's off-duty stuff for me, I don't wear bowl or any team I cover related stuff when I'm working.
  10. clutchcargo

    clutchcargo Active Member

    Aw, shucks. Party pooper. Seriously, I could compete in a couple of those tournaments and still knock out my three or four stories and two blogs for the day without breaking a sweat.

    In other words, lighten up, pal.
  11. alex.riley21

    alex.riley21 Member

    Well, had no idea I was going to open up a can-o-worms. I think it's up to the reporter/company as to if you should take the gifts or not. If you can, enjoy. And I agree on the whole not wearing it on the job. I mean I wear my bowl jacket to high school games I cover, mostly because it's warm and comfortable. I think I wore one of my bowl jackets to a college game twice and only because it was in my car and started raining.
  12. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    An old colleague of mine covered a major bowl long ago and he and a bunch of writers were shuttled off to a golf equipment company's headquarters during the week. They all came back with golf bags embroidered with their names. Our paper had a policy against gifts and he wasn't usually one to break it, but he said "what the hell am I supposed to do, give a golf bag with my name on it to Goodwill?" He had a point. And he didn't use the thing more than a couple times anyway, since of course in golf you shouldn't have your name on the bag unless you're a pro.
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