Multimedia Rights Holders Learfield Sports, IMG College Form Joint Ticketing Business
The two most dominant multimedia rights holders in the college space announced that they are going into the ticketing business together. Learfield Sports and IMG College are forming a joint venture in which each company will own 50% of IMG Learfield Ticket Solutions. The assets of the existing ticket solutions arm of IMG College will carry over, including its headquarters within IMG College in Winston-Salem, N.C., and the 12 clients -- Akron, Cal-Davis, Duke, Evansville, Penn State, Richmond, San Jose State, Syracuse, Temple, Tennessee, Texas-San Antonio and UNLV. IMG College Senior VP/Business Innovations Mark Dyer and Learfield Vice Chair Roger Gardner will oversee the ticketing business from a senior management level. Matt DiFebo, who has managed IMG College’s ticketing division since ‘10, will oversee day-to-day operations of the new venture. IMG ticketing solutions was formed when IMG College bought DiFebo’s ticketing business in ‘10. It is not entirely unusual for Learfield and IMG College to work together. They share interest in a handful of properties -- such as Alabama, Clemson, Miami and South Carolina -- and they have occasionally sold advertising and sponsorships together, but this clearly represents their closest working relationship. Both Dyer and Gardner cited Learfield’s relationships as a 40-year marketer in college sports and the additional resources as reasons to do the deal.