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Volume 24 No. 158
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Marketplace Roundup

The Horizon League has selected IMG College to represent the conference’s multimedia rights as part of a five-year agreement. The 33-year-old conference, which is headquartered in Indianapolis, fields 10 schools including Butler and Cleveland State. The deal will have IMG College manage and market all rights associated with advertising and sponsorship for the Horizon’s championship events. IMG College also gets the rights for website, radio and TV broadcasts. The deal went into effect on July 1 and an announcement is expected today (Michael Smith, SportsBusiness Journal).

Bolt sports Puma jersey with his image on it
during race in Paris
ONE-STOP SHOPPING: The GLOBE & MAIL’s Susan Krashinsky notes the NHL and NBC’s joint sales venture to streamline the league's U.S. media sales through '15-16 is “an example of a trend among TV broadcasters, who are facing rising costs to buy television rights for sports events, and are no longer content to invest in traditional TV rights alone.” TV advertising is “still where the money is, but broadcasters have woken up to the growing value of online viewing and mobile apps.” The agreement “also gives advertisers a one-stop shop for NHL properties.” The NHL will “keep its hands on the lucrative sales of official league sponsorships,” but the deal is “valuable for NBC, especially as it builds its brand to compete against other sports broadcasters such as ESPN” (GLOBE & MAIL, 7/12).

ONE COOL CAT: Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt wore a Puma jersey during a meet in Paris Friday featuring his own image, and ESPN's Michael Wilbon said, "He’s the self-absorbed king of vanity but ... this is necessary behavior in track and field, where it’s an individual thing where you need to call attention to yourself. Bolt’s very good at it.” Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan said this kind of behavior is “endemic to sprinters." Ryan: "They are divas” (“PTI,” ESPN, 7/11).

NOTES: EPL club Wigan Athletic announced online betting brand 12BET has agreed to a two-year deal to become the club’s shirt sponsor, marking the most lucrative shirt sponsorship in the team’s history. The deal includes 12BET becoming the club's official betting and gaming partner (Wigan Athletic)….The Italian Olympic Committee announced that Giorgio Armani will outfit all Italian athletes during the ’12 London Olympics. Details of the deal “will be revealed next week” (AP, 7/12)….MGM Resorts Int'l will serve as host and promotional partner for both the Izod IndyCar World Championships and the inaugural Monster Energy Cup on Oct. 15-16 in Las Vegas (MGM Resorts).