It’s only March but state lawmakers are talking football. A House Democrat wants to spend a pile of money for the Tourism Department to become the sponsor of the New Mexico Bowl.
If lawmakers go for this, our state’s bowl game would be called the “New Mexico True Bowl.”
“The New Mexico Bowl game is one of the single, greatest events in terms of GRT, our sales tax here in New Mexico, as well boosting tourism for the week with least amount of tourists in New Mexico mid-December,” said Rep. Moe Maestas (D) Albuquerque. “So to put our New Mexico brand name on this bowl game, which is nationally renowned, it’s something definitely to consider.”
Rep. Moe Maestas is sponsoring House Bill 646, which would make the Tourism Department the title sponsor of the New Mexico Bowl.
Last year, T-shirt-maker Gildan pulled out as the title sponsor. Maestas thinks it’s a no-brainer to use the ESPN televised game to market the ‘New Mexico True’ brand.
“Advertising works and that’s why Pepsi and Coke do it,” said Maestas. “So the more we advertise New Mexico, the more tourist dollars we get and our economy grows as a result.”
Here’s the catch: it would cost over $500,000 a year to sponsor the game. The Tourism Department would need to come up with a plan on how it would use the game to sell New Mexico to the rest of the country.
The bill was debated at a committee Friday and the Tourism Department spoke out and said they were against it because it is not a priority for them. If it doesn’t pass, another private company could still step in and sponsor the New Mexico Bowl.