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When An Event Becomes Too Hard To Handle – Digital Gabe
Digital Gabe
Cutting Edge Commentary On All Things Media

When An Event Becomes Too Hard To Handle

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If you’re from Philadelphia you know WIP-FM’s infamous Wing Bowl.  For the past 26 years on the Friday before the Super Bowl the station has hosted a wing eating contest at a downtown arena.  This sounds harmless enough until you understand how seriously Philly takes its chicken wings.  Over the years Wing Bowl has devolved into a bacchanalian display of how many wings you can eat and beer you can drink, complete with bikini clad models strutting and rock bands blaring.  Doesn’t sound like a bad way to spend a Friday morning, you say?  Apparently that opinion isn’t shared by WIP’s new owner Entercom.

Yesterday the station announced it was permanently canceling Wing Bowl.  The official reason stated for ending the event is that the Eagles finally won the Super Bowl.  Since Wing Bowl was originally intended to give Eagles fans something to do over the Super Bowl weekend because their team wasn’t in the big game, now that they’ve won there’s no need to keep doing it.

However, the real cause of Wing Bowl’s demise had more to do with business factors.  The sheer cost of putting on the event and the increasing liability risk exposed Entercom to a greater financial downside.  On the other side of the ledger sponsorship sales were declining, as more advertisers found the event too distasteful to be associated with.  So with costs going up and revenue going down Entercom decided to eat it’s last wing (sorry) and cancel the event.  Rest in peace, Wing Bowl!


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