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The Sidelines : Sunkist Pulls Out of Fiesta Bowl

Sunkist Growers Inc., hit hard by a freeze that caused an estimated $700 million in damage to citrus crops, has dropped its Fiesta Bowl sponsorship, the bowl’s president said today.

Chuck Johnson said the hunt has begun for a new sponsor for the bowl, which paid 1991 participants Louisville and Alabama $2.6 million each. Despite dropping its game sponsorship, Sunkist will continue to underwrite costs of the Fiesta Bowl Parade.

The money for this year’s game included an extra $100,000 per school to be used for minority scholarships--fallout from reaction to Arizona’s lack of a paid state holiday for Martin Luther King Jr.

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But Johnson said the King Day issue was not a factor in the loss of game sponsorship. He said the move was forced by the late-December freeze to crops in Arizona and California.


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