SBJ/January 28-February 3, 2013/Colleges

IMG lands WVU rights

IMG College will be the new multimedia rights holder at West Virginia University, one of the last remaining major schools that marketed and managed its rights in-house.

IMG College won the bid over as many as nine contenders for WVU’s multimedia rights.
Photo by: GETTY IMAGES
Terms of the deal were not available. The agency, which owns the rights to more than 80 universities across the country, is working through the final stages of contract talks with West Virginia Athletic Director Oliver Luck, who initiated the idea of outsourcing the rights early last year. A formal announcement on the deal is expected in the coming weeks.

IMG College will manage the Mountaineers’ third-tier TV, radio rights, corporate sponsorship, signage sales and other inventory.

Virginia-based Rockbridge Sports Group has been consulting with the school and helped manage the bid process. IMG College won the bid over as many as nine contenders, including Learfield Sports, Nelligan Sports, CBS Collegiate Sports Properties, Fox Sports Net, Front Row Marketing, Legends Sales and Marketing, XOS Digital and West Virginia Radio Corp.

Of schools in the five major conferences, Michigan State is believed to be the last to manage its rights in-house.

The agreement with West Virginia was one of two major wins for IMG College this month. It also reached an agreement on a long-term deal with Virginia Tech as part of an 11-year extension that will run through the 2023-24 season.

A key component to the extension is an investment by IMG College into new LED equipment and graphic wraps in Lane Stadium, Virginia Tech’s football stadium. Those enhancements will provide IMG College with new inventory that it will sell to corporate supporters.

IMG College also will add a new video board and other wraps that will go around pillars in the concourses around the perimeter of the stadium, providing more advertising and sponsorship inventory.

In Cassell Coliseum, the Hokies’ basketball arena, IMG College plans to install new end-zone video displays and portal signage.

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