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Business, Army, technology and football align as sponsor for Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl

HUNTSVILLE — It was a chance phone call between pals about how excited they were that Army was going to a college football bowl that year.

The buddy on one end of the call was associated with the Independence Bowl and made an offhand remark that they were looking for a national presenting sponsor.

That’s when Bill Bailey, CEO of Huntsville’s Radiance Technologies, saw an opportunity to put his company in the national spotlight, changing the name of the game to the Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl. The move also launched the Radiance Technologies Innovation Bowl – a technology initiative in partnership with the Independence Bowl Foundation to advance STEM learning.

Started in Huntsville in 1999 as an employee-owned company, Radiance Technologies has nearly 1,000 employees in 29 offices across the United States.

“We are now a national company and I see the sponsorship as an opportunity to highlight the culture of our company on a national level,” Bailey said. “To establish our name and brand and have it linked to regional football and especially to Army, who has a very active alumni base and is invited to play in the game every other year. That is very important to us as a company.”

(Radiance Technologies contributed)

Radiance Technologies is an employee-owned company. Since all employees are shareholders, they do well when the company succeeds. Bailey realized there was a lot for  Radiance owner-employees to do to get involved in the game and enjoy.

Gameday events, numerous tailgating options, gameday VIP tents, concerts, community events, Independence Bowl Foundation events, coin-toss appearances and
trophy presentations are all employee focused.

“It’s all our employees,” said Bailey. “At Radiance, we elevate our employees, not our executives. They will be the ones who get to participate in these events and get involved in these activities.”

And that culture, he said, is that Radiance employees believe in giving back to their communities. But charitable contributions also must fit with the company’s strategic objectives through purposeful investments, employee engagement, and thoughtful advocacy efforts.

And then there is Radiance’s affiliation with the Army – its biggest client.

During the five-year term of the sponsorship, the Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl will invite Brigham Young University or Army – if they are bowl eligible – to play every other year against either a team from the Pac-12, Conference USA, or the American Athletic Conference.

This year’s 46th Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl will kick off Dec. 23 in Shreveport, La.; it will feature a match-up between the Army and a team from the AAC.

The game will be broadcast on ESPN; the 2021 Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl drew 3.37 million viewers on ABC.

The last time Army played in Shreveport was the 1996 Independence Bowl against Auburn.

“We also have an opportunity to introduce a technology topic and merge it with a social imperative with the Radiance Technologies Innovation Bowl,” Bailey said.

Radiance works with the Independence Bowl Foundation to create a yearlong tech challenge competition as an outreach to the next generation of innovators and problem-solvers.

According to the Foundation, the Radiance Technologies Innovation Bowl is growing leaders who will encourage real-world experience and creativity to solve today’s problems. It is also a celebration of innovation and technology.

“So, in every way, there is the alignment of business, the military, outreach, branding, and then, I have to say, there was a personal piece to it too,” Bailey said.

Shreveport is just 60 miles east of Louisiana Tech where Bailey earned his bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering.

“Everything just came together perfectly, so initially I put together a presentation for our board of directors, to get their feedback on the sponsorship. I wanted to see what they thought and get some input,” Bailey said. “It was a lot a money.”

The board didn’t need much convincing.

Seeing the combined Radiance Technologies and Independence Bowl logos on the front page of the proposal made an immediate impact and the benefits were clear to the board.

“I said to them, ‘Did you see the amount of the proposal on the last page?’” he said with a laugh.

This will be Radiance Technologies’ third season but only second game as sponsor of the Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl. The 2020 game was cancelled due to an insufficient number of teams being available to fill all the bowl games, following a season impacted by the pandemic.

Established in 1976, the Independence Bowl is the 11th oldest college bowl game and was named for the country’s bicentennial that year. As a result, it has always maintained a patriotic and military focus.

Throughout the first 45 seasons of the bowl game there have been 73 first-round NFL Draft picks; six Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees; 23 college football Hall of Famers; and seven National Championship-winning coaches who have participated in the Independence Bowl.

“After a successful 2021, we are looking forward to once again bringing an exciting Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl to Shreveport-Bossier City,” said Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl Executive Director Missy Setters. “We believe this game date just prior to Christmas weekend provides the opportunity for both our great local fan base and traveling fans to enjoy not only the game, but all the tremendous bowl week events we host.”

Bowl Foundation Chairman Rob Rubel expressed his excitement about having another great game date for this year.

“With a great date, as well great team and conference partners for this year, we are excited about this year’s potential, and we can’t wait to see our community once again show their annual support to our long-standing bowl game,” he said.

Tickets will go on sale online following the ticket renewal process which is underway. Contact ticket sales at RadianceTechnologiesIndependenceBowl.com/tickets.

Ticket prices are endzone bench for $30 and sideline bench for $45; sideline chairback seats are $50, available to sponsors or qualifying Foundation members.

Group tickets and other ticket packages are also available.

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