SBJ/Dec. 6-12, 2010/This Week's Issue

Salary tool for ADs adds vendor deals to database

A North Carolina company that sells subscriptions to its database of college coaches contracts has added a new section that will make multimedia rights contracts and other vendor deals available to athletic directors.

Durham-based Winthrop Intelligence began selling its database earlier this year under the brand Win AD. The service, offered exclusively to college ADs, initially offered information about head and assistant coaches’ contracts from all divisions, including copies of the actual documents.

Win AD has grown through the year to also include athletic administrators’ contracts, annual budgets, and football and basketball game contracts between schools.

The newest offering now includes many of the vendor contracts between schools and their partners, such as the multimedia rights holder, isotonic beverage and equipment supplier.

Winthrop does not release information about its subscription rates or its clients, but a Marquette University administrator said he has found the tool useful in negotiating game contracts. Guarantees that go to visiting teams for basketball games range from the high five figures to low six figures.

“In the past, honesty has not really been a standard negotiating tactic in the process,” said Mike Broeker, Marquette’s deputy AD. “It’s been more about, ‘Well, I’m getting X amount from so and so to play there.’ Now I can look up that information to get an understanding of what those costs actually are.”

Administrators have struggled over the years to find accurate, comparable information for salaries and budgets to help them make decisions on budgets and salaries. Some of that information is shared within conferences, but that doesn’t typically include the actual document, which Win AD makes available as a pdf file. The company acquires the contracts through public information requests to the schools.

Iowa State Athletic Director Jamie Pollard ran a business from 1998-2004 that specialized in analyzing data from each athletic department’s annual report to the U.S. Department of Education.

“I think the business model is probably good and the information is good, but the question you have to ask is how often, over the course of the year, will you find yourself turning to it?” said Pollard, who is not a client. “Is it enough to justify the expense?”

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