Big Ten Conference Taps Learfield Sports for Rights Agreement
May 13, 2008
PARK RIDGE, Ill. (May 13, 2008) - The Big Ten Conference and Learfield Sports announced today that they have officially entered an exclusive partnership whereby the collegiate multimedia rights leader will develop an exclusive corporate partner platform for the conference through an entity that will be called Big Ten Sports Properties.
Effective immediately, the long-term relationship charges Learfield Sports with delivering impactful, strategic corporate partnership initiatives for the Big Ten Conference through media, corporate hospitality, presenting sponsorships of select championships and tournaments, venue exposure, branding opportunities and product sampling. Learfield Sports also will be an integral partner charged with creating corporate opportunities for the Big Ten website, and managing promotions and certain retail licensing deals. Additionally, Big Ten Sports Properties will work closely with the Big Ten Network to develop strategic and innovative multimedia platforms for certain major clients.
The Big Ten Conference, through several of its member schools, already is aligned with Learfield Sports at the campus level as the company represents six of the conference's member institutions - Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin - in their respective, multimedia rights agreements.
"We are pleased to enter into this partnership with Learfield Sports," said Big Ten Conference Commissioner Jim Delany. "We have a deep respect for what Learfield Sports does for its existing partners and firmly believe they are the right partner for us as we look to bolster our corporate partner initiative and other overall marketing efforts."
Learfield Sports will hire a dedicated staff operating as Big Ten Sports Properties to specifically handle the rights business for the Conference moving forward. Big Ten Sports Properties will have personnel at both the Big Ten Conference headquarters in Park Ridge, Ill., as well as in downtown Chicago.
"This is an opportunity for our company to partner with one of the nation's preeminent collegiate conferences and we're delighted to do so. We're grateful for the confidence Jim Delany, Brad Traviolia and the member institutions have placed in us to handle their corporate relationships. This is an opportunity to work with the conference on an entirely new level," said Greg Brown, president of Learfield Sports. "We're excited about the unlimited potential of creating new synergies between corporate America and one of the greatest collegiate brands in the marketplace."
Learfield Sports, which manages the multimedia rights for nearly 50 collegiate institutions and associations including the Western Athletic Conference, North Carolina, Memphis, Miami, Texas A&M, Kansas State, Oklahoma and Stanford, also provides exclusive sports programming to more than 1,000 radio stations nationwide.
Dallas-based Learfield Sports is an operating unit of Jefferson City, Mo.-based Learfield Communications, Inc., which made its initial foray into the world of sports marketing in 1975 as the radio rights holder for the University of Missouri, a client still today. Additionally, Team Services, LLC, a Learfield Sports company, specializes in venue naming rights, marketing research and sales consultation. For more, visit learfieldsports.com.
About the Big Ten Conference: The Big Ten Conference is an association of 11 world-class universities whose member institutions share a common mission of research, graduate, professional and undergraduate teaching and public service. Founded in 1896, the Big Ten has sustained a comprehensive set of shared practices and policies that enforce the priority of academics in student-athletes' lives and emphasize the values of integrity, fairness and competitiveness. Big Ten universities provide in excess of $100 million in athletic scholarship aid to more than 8,500 men and women student-athletes who compete for 25 championships, 12 for men and 13 for women. Conference institutions sponsor broad-based athletic programs with more than 270 teams. For more information, visit www.bigten.org.