Closing Thoughts on the 2023 Wasabi Fenway Bowl: A New Era in Sports and Community Engagement with a little Spice in the Middle

January 4, 2024By Mike Welts

The 2023 Wasabi Fenway Bowl at Boston's iconic Fenway Park was not just an exciting game of football, but a celebration of sportsmanship, community, and innovation. The atmosphere at Fenway was electric, blending the thrill of football with the park's historic charm. Fans from across the nation and beyond gathered, basking in the exciting college football action coupled with Fenway's historic charm. The viewership, both in-stadium and through various broadcasting channels, shattered expectations, showcasing the event's growing popularity and reach. 

More than a game 

Alongside the big game, the Fenway Bowl Honor Roll celebrated individuals in education who demonstrated outstanding performance in working with children and community impact. Our Honor Roll finalists embody the heroic, and determined efforts of educators, administrators and support staff members across the New England area. The three individuals chosen to be this year’s Monster Finalists (Jasmine Gonzalez, Rob Ackerman and David Cuddington) are role models and examples that make us all proud.   

At the heart of the Wasabi Fenway Bowl lies our commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Hearing the stories of this year’s Fenway Honor Roll Monster Finalists and being a part of celebrating their successes in and out of the classroom was truly humbling.   

Alongside our partners at NESN, it was a privilege to honor and recognize the first responders from the Lewiston, Maine area by providing tickets and saluting their honor guard as they presented colors. 

“There were so many moments of excitement and joy at this year’s Wasabi Fenway Bowl, but the moments I will carry with me are those of thanks and gratitude from those whom we were able to provide a fun day at Fenway Park,” said Janice Smith, Wasabi’s Sponsorships Manager. “Showing kindness and appreciation to those who work so hard in our schools and communities is truly as much of a gift to us as it is to those we are honoring.” 

The Wasabi Docuseries “Beyond the Green” added depth to the event, providing fans with a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to be the tile sponsor for a bowl game and telling the stories of the Honor Roll Finalists. Additionally, we were thrilled to host many of our partners at the game, cultivating and deepening relationships that are the lifeblood of what we do with our Partner Program.  

Hold the Mustard 

In the middle of the game, it came to my attention that a well known sports blog questioned why a tech company would name itself after a mustard/horseradish when it doesn’t in fact sell food? Fair question. I’d simply point to three of the most successful tech companies in the world and suggest that Amazon has never sold a single rain forest, Apple has never sold a single apple, and Google, giants though they are, never sold 1e100 of anything. Wasabi Technologies has yet to sell a single ounce of wasabi but we are determined to become the world’s leader in selling hot cloud storage solutions — and we’re well on our way. Disruptive brands begin with disruptive marketing. After all, it was Apple that once said, “Think Different.” How has that worked out for them?  

To all those who watched the game on ESPN or live at Fenway Park, we thank you for being a part of this journey with us. 

The electric atmosphere, groundbreaking viewership, insightful docuseries, dynamic partnerships, customer engagement initiatives, the Honor Roll, and a deep commitment to CSR all woven together created an event that will be remembered for years to come. As we look forward to future iterations of the Bowl, one thing is clear: it has set a new standard for what a sporting event can aspire to be – an experience that transcends the game and impacts our community.