Alabama Looking To Renegotiate Its Multimedia Rights Contract With Learfield, IMG
The Univ. of Alabama has "decided to renegotiate its multimedia rights contract," as the school is "taking advantage of a look-in provision that began July 1 and runs through Aug. 31," according to Michael Smith of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. The provision gives Alabama the "opportunity to renegotiate with the current rights holders, Learfield Sports and IMG College, for more money, or to receive bids from competitors." Learfield and IMG, which "jointly run the Crimson Tide property and sell sponsorships, advertising, signage and other inventory, have the opportunity to match any offer." Unique to this contract, Learfield and IMG also manage Alabama’s "concessions, pouring and isotonic beverage rights, which are not usually included in multimedia rights deals." Learfield President & CEO Greg Brown said that these types of "look-ins are not typical in the multimedia rights space, but Alabama insisted on it." The current deal began in '08 and runs 10 years at a total value of $75.8M. Industry experts said that new round of talks "could land the Crimson Tide one of the country’s most lucrative multimedia rights contracts." Alabama is scheduled to make a minimum of $7.9M in the upcoming '13-14 academic year. The school is eligible to "make more than that if Learfield/IMG hit certain sales thresholds, which they normally do." Learfield/IMG and Alabama "share 50/50 any gross revenue that exceeds" $13M (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 8/5 issue).
MUSTANG RALLY: SMU on Friday agreed to a seven-year multimedia rights deal with Learfield Sports, effective immediately, which will officially begin with the '13-14 athletic season. Learfield will establish Mustang Sports Properties (MSP) as a local entity to work with SMU AD Rick Hart and the athletics administration. SMU's in-house staff handling the rights will transition to the Learfield team. MSP will manage every aspect of rights, including signage, sponsorships, hospitality, event marketing, media and web advertising (Learfield Sports).