When Elk Grove was mentioned on ESPN Bahamas Bowl broadcast: We logged it

Elk Grove Village and its business marketing campaign promoting the industrial park were exposed to a national audience Friday during ESPN's broadcast of the Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl.

The 3½-hour telecast included nearly 20 mentions of the formal bowl game name that uses Elk Grove's "Makers Wanted" tagline, and six commercials promoting the business park.

We logged the Elk Grove and "Makers Wanted" appearances and mentions.

11:30 a.m. As the game begins with sideline reporter Laura Rutledge from the field, Mayor Craig Johnson is in the background, sporting a blue bowl game polo shirt. Rutledge calls it the "Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl," which the announcers are contractually obligated to do.

11:33 a.m. The players take the field, sporting the bowl game logo on jerseys. The logo, featuring the "Makers Wanted" slogan nestled in between two palm trees, is on the 50-yard line, while separate "Makers Wanted Elk Grove Village Illinois" logos are on the 25-yard lines. Similar banners are on sidelines behind team benches. Smaller sideline signs feature "Makers Wanted" and Elk Grove-based Stern Pinball, which gave pinball machines to each team.

11:54 a.m. Elk Grove airs its first TV commercial, which it gets as part of the sponsorship deal. "Why would Elk Grove Village sponsor the Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl?" the announcer asks. "Because we're proud," mentioning the new technology park under development and access to transportation. The TV spot invites businesses to learn more "about how we can help your company grow at"

11:57 a.m. ESPN airs B-roll from a pinball tournament for the teams that Stern sponsored during the week. "Kids still love pinball," says play-by-play announcer Steve Levy.

12:33 p.m. A second Elk Grove commercial airs, this one promoting the industrial park's proximity to the airport, highways and rail. "We appreciate that a strong business park means a high quality of life for village residents," the commercial announcer says. "It's what motivates us to be 'Beyond Business Friendly.'"

12:35 p.m. ESPN shows Johnson handing a trophy to Florida International after winning a beach dance party during the week.

12:48 p.m. Says Levy, "Richard Olekanma (of Toledo) made the stop, his first, senior year from Downers Grove, Illinois - not to be confused with Elk Grove Village, Illinois. I wouldn't make that mistake."

1:38 p.m. Third Elk Grove commercial is the same as the first.

1:57 p.m. Fourth Elk Grove commercial calls the village "a community of makers. ... When your neighbors are makers, the supply chain gets shorter and profits grow. It's why businesses thrive here."

2:30 p.m. Fifth commercial is the same as the first.

2:32 p.m. Coming back from a break, ESPN shows scenes from Elk Grove's municipal complex and park district and the watch party at Real Time Sports bar. "Good on the Makers Wanted people and all our friends watching in Elk Grove Village," Levy says. "Need a place to set up and start a business and start a life? That's an excellent place to go."

2:45 p.m. Sixth commercial features Gary Stern, the pinball company's founder, chairman and CEO, talking about why he chose to locate his business in Elk Grove over Wisconsin, Indiana and Tennessee.

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Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl executives Richard Giannini, left, and Lea Miller-Tooley flank Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson during an on-field presentation in the first quarter of the 2018 Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl at Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium in Nassau, Bahamas. Courtesy of Ben Solomon/ESPN Images
Steve Levy
Laura Rutledge
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