SBJ/Aug. 19-25, 2013/Colleges

Nelligan back as FAU rights holder

Pat Chun capped off his first year as athletic director at Florida Atlantic earlier this month with a new multimedia rights deal that is expected to pay $25 million over the next 10 years.

The agreement extends the relationship between Boca Raton-based FAU and Nelligan Sports, which began in 2006, through 2023. Nelligan’s contract guarantees FAU a little over $2 million a year. Additional revenue can come from a revenue split between the school and the multimedia rights holder if Nelligan hits certain sales goals.

Nelligan will have rights to FAU’s corporate sponsorship, signage and advertising sales, among other assets.
Chun spent 15 years as an associate AD at Ohio State before taking over the Owls’ athletic program last summer, when the Nelligan deal initially expired. With FAU in the second year of its football stadium and entering its first season as a Conference USA member, Chun asked for additional time so that he could research the value of FAU’s multimedia rights.

“That bridge was important,” he said. “That also gave us a year to see the level of professionalism Nelligan brought to the table.”

Chun hired Chicago-based Navigate Marketing to evaluate FAU’s sponsorship assets and values, which led to the most recent deal. That was an important step for a school moving up in conferences and trying to build on a young football program entering its 13th season. Mark Donley, senior vice president at Nelligan, led the talks for the rights holder.

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