The University of Notre Dame athletics department has partnered with Legends and JMI Sports.
The wide-ranging, 12-year deal will see the two companies oversee marketing, hospitality, media rights and branding services for all 23 Fighting Irish varsity teams on a local and national level.
The announcement marks a significant change for Notre Dame, which previously handled most of its athletic corporate sponsorships and marketing rights internally through Notre Dame Sports Properties, which was created in 2003.
Notre Dame said that a key feature of the collaboration will involve transforming the packaging of its gameday hospitality experience, multimedia rights, corporate sponsorship plans and national radio broadcasts. Notre Dame’s national football radio rights had previously had been part of a separate agreement with IMG College.
The Indiana-based university added that the partnerships were the culmination of an extensive review and evaluation process which kicked off 18 months ago.
“Both Legends and JMI Sports not only demonstrated superior appreciations of our culture and our mission, but also their willingness to creatively pursue features that are 100 per cent Notre Dame-centric,” said Jack Swarbrick, Notre Dame’s athletics director. “Each company has unique and specific strengths to offer, so we asked them to combine those strengths to create something transformational for Notre Dame.
“We expect that resulting new initiatives will provide corporate sponsors and Notre Dame fans new, engaging and entertaining ways to connect with our university and its athletic programme.”
“In developing our solution to meet those very high expectations, we believe the combined value proposition offered by a JMI Sports/Legends partnership will exceed those expectations," said JMI Sports chief executive Erik Judson.
“This partnership will provide extraordinary financial upside while at the same time allowing Notre Dame to maintain control of the most influential and revered brand in college sports.”
“Our commitment includes building a team of highly qualified sports and sponsorship professionals who have a strong affection and understanding of Notre Dame, its history and its iconic reputation," added Shervin Mirhashemi, president and chief executive of Legends.