HONOLULU -- The Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) renewed an agreement
with the National Football League to host the annual Pro Bowl game
at Aloha Stadium through 2005.
The HTA will pay the NFL $23.7 million to host the February
all-star game, which it has done since 1980.
The state has always paid the NFL to bring the game here, but
the HTA is hoping to get more out of its investment than in years
According to a sports marketing consultant hired by the HTA, the
resulting exposure to Hawaii's tourism from the game and events
surrounding it is equivalent to $25 million to $35 million in
As part of the deal, footage promoting Hawaii tourism is aired
throughout the game. A new twist in the deal is Hawaii's right to
create a Pro Bowl museum.
According to the state Department of Business, Economic
Development and Tourism, 12.5 million households tuned in to the
Pro Bowl last year on television. The game also was aired on the
radio, and 10 million fans tuned in.
The 30,000 fans who traveled to Hawaii to see the game brought
in $7.5 million in revenue to the state. The state does not
calculate how many tourists come to Hawaii as a result of seeing
the Pro Bowl on television nor how much revenue is brought in by
HTA chairwoman Shari Chang said the state in the past had not
taken advantage of marketing opportunities associated with the game
as much as it could have.
Chang said when it came time to renegotiate the NFL contract,
she was skeptical about the return on the investment.
"I wasn't against it, but I wasn't super gung-ho about it
either," said Chang. "Now I am more enthusiastic because of the
revenue-sharing opportunities and the overall marketing program we
Chang said the state will get a cut of travel packages for the
game that will be sold by the NFL and Panda Travel of Honolulu. It
also will get a percentage of the take from a week of pre-game
activities in Honolulu such as the Pro Bowl Experience, a kind of
football carnival, and the Battle of the Gridiron, a televised
skills competition among Pro Bowl players.
Chang said the cost of hosting the Pro Bowl has gone up about 5%
She said the NFL gave Hawaii a free 30-second television spot
during the Super Bowl last year, just for asking. That is something
state officials in the past had never bothered to do.
The state also secured the rights to use the NFL logo in
promoting the game.