If you watch the Georgia Bulldogs face off against the Nebraska Cornhuskers on Wednesday, look for some familiar faces in the crowd.
The Bulldogs will have their own Columbia County cheering section at the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl. That’s because more than 50 employees and guests of the Evans-based TaxSlayer.com will be heading down to Jacksonville, Fla., Tuesday on a chartered bus for the big game.
This is TaxSlayer.com’s third year as the signature sponsor for the Gator Bowl, according to Darcel Walker, the company’s director of growth. Walker said having the Bulldogs in the game is a big boost for their sponsorship and for the company.
“I think it is huge for us,” he said. “We are based in the Southeast in the state of Georgia, so it’s great to have a team like (the Bulldogs) in the game.”
It also doesn’t hurt that two of the company’s founders, Jimmy Rhodes and Carl Rhodes, are big Georgia fans, he said.
Walker said that TaxSlayer.com has been using sports sponsorships such as the Gator Bowl and NASCAR racer Dale Earnhardt Jr. to build its brand and improve its market share.
“It is really branding, getting your name out there,” he said. “Turbo Tax, H&R Block and TaxACT own a large percent of the market share. Our goal is to be No. 1 in online tax preparation.”
Walker said Taxslayer.com is carving away at its competitors one customer at a time.
“We have grown double-digit percent growth in the last five years,” he said. “Once they use our product we are sure they will enjoy it and want to come back for future years.”
Walker said as a signature sponsor of the Gator Bowl, TaxSlayer.com offers free tickets and a trip to the game to every employee. They can even bring guests. Last year, the company brought about 90 people to the game.
He said it is a reward for all the hard work employees put in during the year.
“It gets us excited about going into the tax season,” he said.