The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

July 11, 2013

WVU, IMG join forces

MORGANTOWN — The bitter battle over West Virginia University’s Tier 3 rights came to an end Thursday with the announcement of a broad partnership between the school and IMG College.

The program is designed to bring new national and corporate support and brand recognition to the school’s athletic program and is effective with this coming academic year.

The 12-year agreement is guaranteed to pay to WVU more than $80 million over 12 years, plus revenue-sharing opportunities over the length of the partnership, includes management of local game broadcasts and coaches’ shows for radio and television; publications such as media guides and schedules; digital platforms including social media and web sites; corporate sponsorships; at-event promotions and game-day hospitality; stadium and venue signage including scoreboards and ribbon boards; and advertising in university-owned and leased athletic facilities.

Local radio baron John Raese had fought a no-holds-barred fight to retain radio production rights for his company, West Virginia Radio Corp., and has gone to court in an effort to keep this merger from occurring.

He did force the process to be redone, but he could not change the results of the bidding.

WVU retains some existing sponsorships with corporate entities such as athletic apparel and footwear, health care, financial services and pouring rights.

“It was time for WVU Athletics to grow our multimedia and sponsorship sales, especially with our recent move to the Big 12 Conference,” said director of athletics Oliver Luck in a noontime release. “With the resources, services and proven track record that IMG College brings, WVU now has the opportunity to expand its revenue base by engaging new national sponsors while building our athletic and university brand. I’m extremely pleased with this move.”

“West Virginia athletics under the direction of Oliver Luck has done a great job building its corporate partner program, and we’re thrilled to add our resources to expand on these efforts,” said Ben Sutton, president of IMG College, in the same release. “West Virginia is one of last major schools to handle multimedia and sponsorship sales in house. The university’s decision to entrust IMG to grow its sponsor and revenue base while building the school brand continues to validate IMG’s collegiate services and burgeoning national marketing platform.”

WVU joins several other Big 12 schools which have partnerships with IMG College, including Baylor, Kansas, TCU and Texas. IMG currently represents more than 90 universities nationwide as well as the NCAA and its 88 championships.

Under the contract, IMG will identify a dedicated team to be based in Morgantown.

  Also, radio broadcasts will move to IMG Audio, the largest independent radio network in the U.S. IMG will partner with West Virginia Media Holdings – run by Bray Carey, a competitor to Raese — to develop television inventory, including coaches shows and other ancillary TV programming to be determined.

IMG College describes itself as “the nation’s leading collegiate multimedia, marketing and licensing/brand management company, representing more than 200 of the nation’s top collegiate properties, including the NCAA and its 89 championships, NCAA football, leading conferences and many of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the country.

Headquartered in Winston Salem, N.C., IMG College connects brands with the largest and most demographically attractive fan base in sports through partnership opportunities in multimedia rights, sponsorship sales, licensing, marketing, ticketing, seating, fundraising, premium events and hospitality, stadium and arena development, and consulting.

IMG College produces nearly 31,000 hours of radio programming on the largest sports network in the country, manages nearly 5,000 hours of local television programming, is the leading publisher of college sports publications and is the largest manager of university athletic websites.

Email Bob Hertzel at bhertzel@hotmail.com or follow him on Twitter @bhertzel.

1
Text Only
Bob Herzel
  • HERTZEL COLUMN- WVU faithful again have a reason to root against Vick

    It would be one final indignation, that’s what it would be if Michael Vick were to beat out Geno Smith and win the starting quarterback job with the New York Jets.

    April 23, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- Luck open to WVU fans’ suggestions

    West Virginia’s fans have spoken, perhaps not verbally but nonetheless have had their voices heard, over the past few years as attendance has fallen at the Mountaineers’ football and basketball games.

    April 22, 2014

  • Mountaineers ready for slate of rivalry games

    Looking to put together a late-season run to get into the NCAA championships, West Virginia faces a pair of midweek rivalry games in a crucial five-game week coming off winning two of three games at Oklahoma.

    April 22, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- Summer, Alabama will be used to get WVU’s mind right

    The ink had barely dried on the final reports out of West Virginia’s spring practice when thoughts turned forward toward the lazy, hazy days of late summer, days that will bring us into football season with a game that can either change the entire image of WVU football or sour it even further.

    April 21, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Watson tees off a new century at The Greenbrier

    You knew this was going to be one of those unpredictable, memorable days when you drove into the Greenbrier Resort and headed to the Old White Golf Course and found the best parking place in the joint.
    As Bob Uecker would say, right there in the front rooooow.

    April 20, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Under pressure, NCAA decides to change rules

    At first glance, it appears that they do not go hand-in-hand, a pair of rules changes the NCAA’s Legislative Council approved this week, sending them off for what seems to be smooth sailing toward becoming rules.

    April 18, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU gymnast hopes to stick her final landing

    The reaction, one suspects, was the same as most people who see either a picture of West Virginia University gymnast Hope Sloanhoffer or meet her for the first time in person — a quick double take, maybe even stumbling over the first few words of an introduction.

    April 17, 2014

  • Bussie looks forward to WNBA

    On Tuesday, the weather turned cold, the wind blew and amongst the raindrops that fell a few snowflakes fluttered quietly to Earth.
    It was as if it was a celebration of Asya Bussie being drafted on Monday night by the Minnesota Lynx, champions of the WNBA, with the third selection of the second round, the 15th overall pick of the draft.

    April 16, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Jackie Robinson’s impact extends beyond baseball

    It is Jackie Robinson Day as I sit here writing this today, and I feel as though I am doing it in a world gone mad.
    Every player in Major League Baseball wore No. 42 on Tuesday in honor of Jackie Robinson, the man who took racism’s best shot and integrated the game that was known then as the National Pastime even though it was as white a Ku Klux Klan robe.

    April 16, 2014

  • Gyorko, Padres agree to extension

    Jedd Gyorko, who hasn’t hit much of anything with a .178 start on this season, hit the jackpot on Monday, signing a six-year contract extension with the San Diego Padres for $35 million with a one-year club option at $13 million.

    April 15, 2014

House Ads
Featured Ads