July 2, 2013
By Jerry Kutz, Seminole Boosters Senior VP
Former Florida State University head coach Bobby Bowden and Seminole Boosters, Inc. have agreed to a marketing and promotions agreement to raise money for Florida State Athletics.
“When Coach Bowden accepted FSU President Eric Barron’s invitation to come back for two home games this fall, we saw an opportunity to formulate an agreement that will allow the Boosters to take Coach Bowden to fans across the country to promote Seminole Athletics,” said Andy Miller, President of Seminole Boosters, Inc., the fundraising arm of Florida State Athletics. “Coach Bowden has always been a great ambassador for the University and will be invaluable in our efforts to fund a highly successful Athletics program.”
The multi-year agreement will begin in January, 2014, and calls for Bowden to make public appearances during the year to promote, market and raise funds for FSU Athletics in 2014 and 2015. In addition to a Personal Services Agreement, Bowden granted Seminole Boosters the right to use his name and likeness under an exclusive licensing agreement. The Boosters portion of this partnership will support Athletics.
Bowden is no stranger to personal speaking agreements with Seminole Boosters. For more than 35 years as head coach, Bowden was the featured speaker on the Spring Seminole Booster tour, which raised funds and promoted Seminole Athletics.
“I am delighted,” said FSU President Eric Barron. “Coach has always been a great friend-raiser, and it will be an emotional time for his legions of fans to see him back on Bobby Bowden Field this fall. This new agreement will allow us to bring Coach Bowden to our supporters around the country and allow them to share in this positive spirit.”
“I can’t think of a better ambassador than Bobby Bowden to serve in this very important roll,” says Allan Bense, Chairman of the Board of Trustees. “I applaud Seminole Boosters for seizing the opportunity.”
Bowden will receive compensation of $250,000 per year and half of the net royalty income from licensing.
“We have looked forward to the day that Coach Bowden was ready to make appearances at Florida State events,” said Gene Ready, Chairman of the Board of Seminole Boosters. “Coach Bowden has always said that he didn’t want to come back until his successor had established himself. Now that Jimbo Fisher has won an Atlantic Coast Conference Championship and the BCS Orange Bowl Championship, the time was right. Who better to promote FSU athletic programs than the man who put us on the national collegiate sports map and led us to national championships twice? It is definitely a win-win-win situation for Seminole Boosters, FSU and Coach Bowden.”
Head Football Coach Jimbo Fisher said he is glad Coach Bowden is involved. “I am very excited and looking forward to having Coach Bowden coming back),” said Fisher. “I think it is a great thing for Florida State and for Coach Bowden. It is very indicative of his nature and the man he is to want to come back and help. He and I have a great relationship. He has helped with Kidz 1st and is just a great friend.”
Speaking on behalf of the Athletics Department and all former student-athletes, Senior Associate Athletics Director Monk Bonasorte is excited Bowden will be involved.
“As a former player under Coach Bowden and now a member of this athletic department, Coach’s return feels like a member of the family coming home,” said Bonasorte, who was an All American safety in 1980. “The excitement level and anticipation among our fans and our former players to be able to recognize Coach Bowden is so gratifying for someone like me who had the privilege of playing for a legend. We are thrilled he is going to continue to be an ambassador for Seminole Boosters and FSU Athletics in the coming years.”
Bowden said he’s looking forward to traveling with the Boosters again and renewing friendships he’s enjoyed for so many years.
“I am excited about being back,” Bowden said. “One of the things I missed most about Florida State was the Seminole Boosters banquets that I did. You do that for 34 years, you get real personal. You’ve been knowing them for 34 years so it will feel good to see a lot of (friends) again.
“I hope most of it is golf,” Bowden said with a wink, “but whatever it is I will be there.”
Bowden said fundraising has always been a natural fit for him as he has seen how athletics scholarships change the lives of his players and generations of family members to follow.
“I graduated from Samford University back in 1952 but I worked for Florida State University for 34 years, so, naturally it becomes my number one school,” said Bowden. “(The money raised) goes to a young man or woman who gets an education, then becomes a productive citizen with a good job, and the first thing you know they are donating (a scholarship) back because they realize what the university meant to them. I just hope I can do my part.”