Aug 29, 2011 at 12:59 PM
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UPS, MillerCoors Cut Blockbuster College Sports Deals

UPS, already an official partner of both the Southeastern Conference and the NCAA, has expanded its collegiate sports sponsorship program with the addition of new multi-year agreements with IMG College and the Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences. The new agreements, which include attaining rights to 68 IMG schools, will allow UPS to reach 250 universities with gameday activation.

"Through these new alliances, UPS secures one of the largest sponsorship profiles in Division I college sports, opening the door for exciting B-to-B growth opportunities with the conferences and individual schools along with an unprecedented range of marketing, advertising, branding and hospitality assets," said Ron Rogowski, UPS vice president, sponsorships and events. "These partnerships also give us a compelling communications platform to share the message that whether you're a small business owner or a championship football coach, UPS's mastery of logistics can help you succeed."

Through the IMG partnership, UPS will receive rights to a vast array of marketing assets, channels and intellectual property to reach college sports fans, game day activation at 250 college venues, media across TV, radio and digital channels and customized integrated marketing platforms aligned to UPS business objectives.

Under the agreement, at 68 schools, UPS will enjoy category exclusivity for all marketing and promotional rights in the shipping, freight and logistics category. UPS will become the official logistics, package-delivery and retail shipping services company in all forms of sponsor recognition related to the schools, including on-campus, in-stadium, licensing, and broadcast, print and web outlets. The marketing rights and business development opportunities also extend to The UPS Store, which will allow the company to activate its sponsorship at a local level, campus by campus.

"This is truly an historic announcement in the annals of sports marketing," said George Pyne, President of Sports and Entertainment at IMG Worldwide. "IMG has built the first national college sports marketing platform allowing blue chip brands like UPS to reach the largest and most affluent fan base in sports. We've assembled the intellectual property, marketing assets, media channels and service infrastructure for one-stop shopping, which was never previously available. We are confident UPS will be the first of many national brands to capture the pride and passion of college sports through this new national marketing opportunity."

UPS's new agreements with the Big Ten and Pac-12 provide similar marketing rights with each conference, including category exclusive rights for UPS and The UPS Store, tickets and hospitality for UPS customers and employees at conference championship events and key individual school games throughout the year.

"We're extremely excited to add the premier college sports marketing organization and two of the most highly regarded collegiate athletic conferences to our sponsorship portfolio," commented Rogowski. "This expansion allows UPS to extend its college sports presence to the full collegiate landscape -- on campus, through alumni associations and the athletic programs appealing to the 172 million college sports fans across the country."

Pyne spoke with Bloomberg's Michele Steele about the deal earlier today.

The blockbuster UPS deal comes on the heels of MillerCoors' similar cross-college deal that will involve 23 schools.

“These are deals that offer multi-regional properties and very strong retail activation tools,” said Jackie Woodward, MillerCoors’ vice president for media and marketing told Sports Business Daily. “We’re still very strong in the NFL with 21 team deals. We’re strong with fantasy football and Major League Baseball. College is now becoming a very nice part of the overall portfolio, particularly with our responsibility messaging.”

MillerCoors plans to use college marks on promotional items and point-of-sale ads, but will not use logos or marks on beer packaging. The brewer says ads using college marks will involve a responsible drinking message.


In other college sports news, Learfield Sports and IMG College also announced today a multi-year broadcasting agreement that will make live play-by-play broadcasts from 11 conferences available to SiriusXM listeners across the country. SiriusXM will broadcast live college football and men's basketball from the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Big East, Pac 12 and Army, as well as men's basketball from Xavier, Gonzaga and teams from several mid-major conferences.

"We're very pleased to work with both Learfield Sports and IMG College and their extensive portfolios of colleges and universities to provide fans with the most comprehensive college sports coverage available," said Scott Greenstein, SiriusXM's President and Chief Content Officer. "With our unparalleled schedule of live games all year round, coaches' shows and the daily talk and analysis on our SiriusXM College Sports Nation channel, college sports fans will have exceptional access to their favorite team from anywhere in the country."