Holiday Bowl executives - make that Thrifty Car Rental Holiday Bowl executives (more on that later) - do not seem too worried about an IRS directive in Dallas that says the Cotton Bowl may no longer write off Mobil Oil Corp.'s multimillion dollar sponsorship as a charitable gift.
There has been concern that the directive will be carried over to all of the other bowls with perhaps disastrous results. Some are even forecasting it might mean the collapse of the bowls.The Dallas case is being reviewed at IRS headquarters in Washington, where it's expected a ruling will be forthcoming in the next month. If the Dallas ruling is upheld, it would mean the Cotton Bowl would face an immediate $1 million tax bill and the likelihood that most other bowls would then be required to pay a 33 percent gift tax on corporate sponsorships.
While a ruling like that would obviously hurt, Bruce Binkowski, the Holiday Bowl's director of marketing and public relations, does not think it would mean the end ofthe bowls.
"I just can't see that happening (demise of the bowls) . . . There will be bowls," Binkowski said.
A harsh ruling might eliminate some of the bowls that are having a hard time surviving now, anyway, he added.
Or, what might happen, he inferred, is that payouts for all of the bowls will be reduced proportionally so that they would be offering what they were four or five years ago instead of the multimillion dollar figures that some do now.
NEW SPONSOR - The Holiday Bowl is now to be known as the Thrifty Car Rental Holiday Bowl. The past several years it has been the Sea World Holiday Bowl but Sea World dropped its major sponsorship commitment after last year's game. It still will provide, some help, though and as such, the 1991 game will officially be titled, "Thrifty Car Rental Holiday Bowl, presented by Sea World."
Binkowski said he expects the payout under Thrifty Car Rental sponsorship, at least for this year, will be the same as last year - $1.2 million per team. "It's not going to go down in payout (this year). After that, we'll just have to see what happens."
NEGOTIATIONS WITH WAC - The current contract between the Holiday Bowl and the Western Athletic Conference expires in 1992. Representatives from both have been meeting regarding extending the contract through 1995.
Toward the end of the last football season, when Brigham Young University was ranked No. 4 in the nation, there had been some queries as to modifying the agreement so that a top-ranking WAC team would have the opportunity to contend for the national title in a major bowl - similar to the provision the Florida Citrus Bowl has.
Binkowski says that hasn't come up during current negotiations and as far as Holiday Bowl executives are concerned, the WAC champion will continue to be one of the participants regardless of national ranking.