The Big Ten Conference, the Big Ten Network (BTN) and Learfield, the leading college sports marketing company, have formed a partnership that will see the three entities sell the conference's multimedia and marketing rights collectively.
The partnership, described in an official release as ‘groundbreaking’, will see all Big Ten-related commercial assets bundled together and marketed through a single, joined-up sales operation.
Assets on offer will include in-venue signage, official designations, corporate hospitality, digital and social media integration and on-site promotional activation as well as print and radio inventory.
BTN assets, including TV commercials, and those of Home Team Sports, a Fox-owned company, will also be sold within multi-platform packages offered to new and existing advertisers.
Previously, Big Ten multimedia rights were handled by Learfield, which also has individual agreements with eight Big Ten schools in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Northwestern, Purdue, Penn State and Wisconsin.
Brands including Gatorade, Shell, SoFi, State Farm and T-Mobile are among the first to acquire rights under the new partnership, according to a Big Ten statement.
“At its core, this partnership better enables us to serve our clients and their objectives,” said Jim Reeder, the vice president of sales at Big Ten Network.
“With this portfolio, we can deliver new points of access to connect with the college sports fan – offering scale with a modern and comprehensive approach.”
Brad Traviolia, the deputy commissioner of the Big Ten Conference, added: “We believe this new partnership puts us in a favourable position to serve an array of distinguished and committed sponsors.
“Given BTN’s continued success, its relationship with Fox and industry expertise, we firmly believe this will be an advantageous proposition for both the conference and our corporate partners going forward.”