AT&T Inks Three-Year Extension Of NCAA Corporate Champion Sponsorship
AT&T, the NCAA’s longest-standing partner, "has extended its corporate champion sponsorship" by three years, according to Michael Smith of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. The agreement "keeps AT&T on board as the NCAA’s official wireless service provider and a heavily integrated sponsor of CBS’s basketball broadcasts, including 'At the Half.'" Terms of the deal were not released, but NCAA corporate champion deals in the past "have sold in the low eight figures annually." AT&T "has committed to more activation against the NCAA’s championships in women’s basketball, baseball and lacrosse." There is "not an exclusive content play for AT&T because of the NCAA’s TV Everywhere approach of putting all of the men’s basketball tournament games on March Madness on Demand, but AT&T will have the opportunity to pass through some rights to its handset partners." Turner Senior VP/NCAA Partnerships Will Funk said that there "also exists a possibility for AT&T to work with LG, an NCAA corporate partner." Funk and CBS Sports Senior VP/Sales & Marketing Chris Simko said that they "plan to limit the corporate champion program to the three current brands" -- AT&T, Coca-Cola and Capital One -- but "intend to expand the partner program from the 10 categories represented now" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 10/24 issue).