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September 22, 2014

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Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl promotes from within for top position

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Showgirl Jennifer Autry stands to the side of the stage during the kickoff luncheon for the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013. Royal Purple, a manufacturer of motor oil and other lubricants, was announced as the new title sponsor of the game for the next three years.

The Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl has a new executive director as ESPN promoted John Saccenti to the position, it was announced Monday. Saccenti has worked on the bowl staff since 2001, leading sales efforts locally.

“I’m truly grateful for and excited about this opportunity,” Saccenti said in a statement. “Our bowl game has become one of Las Vegas’ premier events each year and I look forward to keeping the momentum going as we move forward with a great title sponsor in Royal Purple and two ideal conference partners.”

The game at Sam Boyd Stadium features the top pick from the Mountain West against the sixth selection from the Pac-12. Last year’s game between USC and Fresno State drew 42,178 fans, the second highest in bowl, stadium and state history.

Saccenti, a UNLV grad, previously worked with the Las Vegas Stars (Triple-A baseball), the Las Vegas Thunder (International Hockey League) and was the marketing director for the XFL’s Las Vegas Outlaws before joining ESPN Regional Television in 2001.

Saccenti replaces Dan Hanneke, who led the bowl for two years before leaving for the UFC. Previously, current UNLV Athletic Director Tina Kunzer-Murphy held the position for 12 years before her run ended in 2012.

Taylor Bern can be reached at 948-7844 or [email protected]. Follow Taylor on Twitter at twitter.com/taylorbern.

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