From jewelry to mountain bikes, Orange Bowl players craft their own gift packages
CLEMSON - The perk package Clemson and Ohio State players receive from the Orange Bowl will force the Tigers and Buckeyes to make some tough decisions.
Each year, bowl-bound players receive gifts from their hosts - swag bags, if you will - as a reward for making the postseason. Generally, the better the bowl, the sweeter the swag.
A new wrinkle over half the bowls are offering players is a gift suite, which lays out an array of items ranging value for players to select.
The NCAA allows bowls to provide $550 worth of gifts to each player.
The Orange Bowl is one of the 18 bowls offering gift suites. Clemson players will receive a Tourneau watch valued at approximately $110, and then step into a ballroom full of gifts and make their selections that combine for approximately $440. Because bowls purchase items in bulk, they tend to get pricey items (like recliners and Blu-Ray DVD players) for cheaper amounts than retail value.
There are eight tiers of prizes. Gifts with a "1" designation are the least valuable, increasing up to the "8" tier of most valuable gifts.
Each player gets eight points, which means he could take one gift on the "8" tier and go home, take eight of the "1" gifts, or mix and match.
In all, there are 88 options for players to select in the gift suite. They range from the traditional (headphones, watches, jewelry of increasing value in every tier) to the outlandish. There's even items for women, just in case players want to go Christmas shopping for their moms or girlfriends.
For participating in the Capital One Bowl, each South Carolina player will receive a $450 gift card to spend on a team trip to Best Buy in Orlando, plus a watch and a Russell Athletic workout shirt.
Here's the rundown for the Orange Bowl gift suites:
Tier 1: 13 choices, including earbuds, jewelry, a cell phone case, a dartboard, a sandwich grill and a remote-controlled helicopter.
Tier 2: 13 choices, including over-ear headphones, jewelry, speakers, a blender, a camping lantern and binoculars and a retro kettle popcorn popper maker.
Tier 3: 12 choices, including Bluetooth headphones, jewelry, speakers, Ray-Ban sunglasses, Blu-Ray players and a Fender acoustic guitar with a stand and picks.
Tier 4: 11 choices, including portable Bluetooth speakers, Ray-Ban Aviator shades, a Fujifilm digital camera with memory card and case, an HD waterproof camera and a large nylon zebra purse from Dooney & Bourke.
Tier 5: 10 choices, including cameras, camcorders, a chronograph watch, a Wi-Fi speaker for iPhones/iPads/iPods, a smartphone-attachable camera and a Toshiba 23-inch HD television.
Tier 6: 10 choices, including higher-end headphones and cameras, a Sony home theater system, floor speakers, an electric tabletop grill, a Fender acoustic guitar, a 9-inch portable DVD player and a home theater recliner.
Tier 7: 10 choices, including video gaming headsets, a trail camera, a Sony sound bar with wireless subwoofer, outdoor speakers, a Toshiba 32-inch HD television, a Big Man's recliner and a Trek mountain bike.
Tier 8: 9 choices, including optical binoculars, an Armani watch, an Esqmovado watch, a Pandora 5-charm bracelet, a Ferragamo women's French wallet, a Sony Blu-Ray home theater system, a Sony audio system and two different kinds of Briggs & Riley suitcases.