SBJ/Feb. 17-23, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

GM, Mercedes buy into Pac-12 shows

Editor's note: This story is revised from the print edition.

The Pac-12 Networks have sold presenting sponsorships of their pregame and postgame shows during the men’s basketball tournament to a pair of automotive companies.

General Motors has bought a spot for Buick to sponsor the pregame show, and Mercedes-Benz will sponsor the postgame show. Financial terms of the deals were not available.

Eight of the 11 games during the tournament in Las Vegas will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks. Fox Sports 1 has the other three games.

“We’ve seen some good interest this year because we’ve had a marquee team in Arizona that’s been No. 1 for much of the year and because we’ve got eight other teams fighting for NCAA berths,” said Neil Davis, executive vice president of sales for the networks.

Davis, a former executive with Fox Sports, the Brooklyn Nets and Madison Square Garden, joined the Pac-12 Networks three months ago. He came in on the tail end of talks to secure New York Life as a presenting sponsor for the entire tournament.

Unlike other conferences that outsource sponsorship sales, the Pac-12 handles network and sponsorship sales in-house.

Buick’s deal is a straight media buy. The Mercedes-Benz sponsorship includes some rights on-site in Las Vegas for signage and hospitality.

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