Pac-12 Sued By Sports Marketing Firm Over Helping Conference Secure '13 Deal With AT&T
The Pac-12 has been "sued by a sports marketing company seeking compensation for its role in helping the conference secure" a '13 deal with AT&T worth "tens of millions of dollars to the member universities," according to Jon Wilner of the San Jose MERCURY NEWS. The lawsuit "alleges that the Pac-12’s refusal to compensate" California-based EMG, which had "connections to top AT&T executives, 'crippled' the company’s business." EMG is "seeking an unspecified amount in damages." Wilner notes EMG "did not have a written contract with the Pac-12." EMG "estimates that the conference’s partnership with AT&T," which includes carriage on U-verse for Pac-12 Networks, is worth $90M over five years. EMG’s relationship with the Pac-12 began in '11 after the company was "hired by UCLA to assist in a Pauley Pavilion naming rights deal with AT&T." At the time, the "not-yet-launched Pac-12 Networks were attempting to forge a relationship with AT&T, and EMG had strong ties to AT&T’s senior management team." The complaint "details communications" from Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott and then-Pac-12 Networks President Gary Stevenson to EMG officials about "brokering a deal with AT&T" (San Jose MERCURY NEWS, 9/14).