The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Business

December 28, 2011

Sugar Bowl, BP to promote Gulf seafood, tourism



NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Sugar Bowl has announced plans with oil giant BP for a two-week promotion of Gulf Coast seafood and culture.

The Gulf Coast Seafood & Tourism Bash is billed by the Allstate Sugar Bowl Committee as a two-week celebration being held as New Orleans hosts the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 3 and the BCS championship on Jan. 9. The events bring thousands of visitors to the area and draw millions of television viewers.

“Together, we want to deliver a clear message that the Gulf’s beaches, restaurants, fishing and attractions provide unsurpassed vacation experiences,”  Crystal Ashby, BP executive vice president of government and public affairs, said in a news release.

Gulf Coast seafood will be featured at official Sugar Bowl and BCS National Championship galas and pregame parties and promotional announcements will be made during the games. There will be vacation giveaways to Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana and seafood samplings for fans and media in New Orleans,

The promotion comes as the Gulf seafood industry continues efforts to rebound from the 2010 BP oil spill. State and federal officials have declared Gulf seafood safe to eat but industry leaders have said repeatedly that they are fighting to overcome negative perceptions since the spill.

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