SBD/Issue 136/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

New Contract Gives Learfield Exclusive Sales Rights At UM

Learfield Communications Lands Exclusive
Sales Rights At TCF Bank Stadium
The Univ. of Minnesota (UM) and Missouri-based Learfield Communications have agreed to a 15-year, $112M contract extension that will give Learfield "exclusive rights to sales of signs and corporate sponsorships" at TCF Bank Stadium, according to Chip Scoggins of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. Learfield already handles broadcast rights for UM sports and advertising and suite sales at Mariucci Arena and Williams Arena, but the school will sell suites at the new football stadium. The deal allows both sides to "renegotiate and/or terminate the agreement'' in 2016. UM AD Joel Maturi: "We don't know what the market will be like (in eight years). If the market explodes, we can sit down with Learfield and take a look at it." Learfield also owns rights to radio broadcasts, but WCCO-AM's contract with Learfield "has not been extended beyond the original seven-year deal the sides agreed to in 2006." Highlights of the new deal include UM receiving $6.08M in '09-2010, "up from $4.7[M] under the previous deal," topping out at $9.07M in 2023-24. Also, if annual sales "exceed a predetermined threshold" that escalates from about $10.2M in the first year, the two sides "would split the extra revenue evenly" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 4/5).

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