LEARFIELD SPORTS, ISP SPORTS, OFFICIAL SPORTS REPORT ANNOUNCE COLLABORATION

LEARFIELD SPORTS, ISP SPORTS, OFFICIAL SPORTS REPORT ANNOUNCE COLLABORATION

Strategic Tie Brings New Digital Assets to Multiple Collegiate Properties

TULSA (Oct. 8, 2009) – Ushering in an opportunity to put exclusive email reports into the hands of over three million fans and alumni associated, on a daily basis, with more than 100 colleges and universities nationwide, Official Sports Report™ announces that it has aligned with Learfield Sports and ISP Sports to maximize its visibility in the collegiate space and to provide these multimedia rights holders the opportunity to deliver their partner schools additional digital assets and daily news reports.

The strategic partnership between these three entities launches with a total of 15 schools and daily distribution to approximately 525,000 readers.

Official Sports Report (OSR), the first officially endorsed email publication in the collegiate sports industry, was established in 2007 with distribution for the University of Missouri. Missouri is one of the more than 50 collegiate institutions and associations represented by Learfield Sports, which has locally based entities at each property, such as Mizzou Sports Properties at the University of Missouri. The tie with OSR will allow Learfield Sports’ and ISP’s properties across the country to begin offering its schools this immediate, digital communication vehicle as a way to stay engaged with their comprehensive database of fans, students, alumni, business partners and donors.

“Aligning with Official Sports Report makes sense for our business model, and we’ll now be able to put our University partners in a position of having a more innovative, cutting-edge way of communicating with their primary constituents,” said Learfield Sports’ Senior Vice President Mike Behymer. “There’s no question the product that Official Sports Report offers is one-of-a-kind, and we’re pleased to have this as a strategic offering for our partners. It’s also quickly becoming a valuable asset for those companies wanting daily access to these University athletics constituents.”

Through Sports Echo, LLC, Official Sports Report offers a daily, exclusive electronic news service. Editors are embedded within the athletic departments of the respective universities, so they can also provide unique and breaking-news editorial and video content.

“ISP is delighted to partner with OSR to bring fans fresh, unique content on a daily basis related to their favorite college team,” said Stacy Hall, ISP Sports’ senior vice president and conference relationship manager for the SEC. “This original platform also enables advertisers to communicate their message in a highly efficient manner on a truly national basis.”

OSR delivers a Classic and Premium service option for schools, varying by the amount of content and features available. The Classic includes daily email updates and articles; additional sports reports; exclusive information on upcoming events; limited access to Official Sports Report TV; On the Wire – links to schedule and coaches’ information; direct access to the respective school’s Official Athletic Site link; breaking news alerts; and access to all archived articles. The Premium service will be available by year end and will consist of additional benefits for subscribers that are not available today with the “Classic” version. Additionally, OSR is formatted for handheld devices.

“Partnering with Learfield Sports and ISP made an enormous amount of sense as it affords the Company an opportunity to become the Official Sports Report for over 100 top universities,” said Official Sports Report CEO Mike Henry. “OSR is a great way for fans to stay connected with their favorite University and offers the sponsors an effective way to reach several hundred thousand university fans and supporters on a daily basis. When OSR is fully rolled out, we expect the distribution to be several million issues delivered on a daily basis.”

Neal Pilson, former president of CBS Sports and current board member of Sports Echo LLC, adds, “The collegiate sports marketplace has evolved significantly in recent years. Technology plays a vital role in this category. Official Sports Report specifically addresses three major objectives; highly-targeted audiences, significant reach and frequency, while delivering the measurement required today by sophisticated marketers.”

In addition to Missouri, Learfield Sports manages the multimedia rights for more than 50 collegiate institutions and associations including the Big Ten Conference, Western Athletic Conference and Missouri Valley Conference. The Dallas-based company also titles the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup, oversees marketing partnerships for the Black Coaches & Administrators (BCA) and provides exclusive sports programming to more than 1,000 radio stations nationwide. It is an operating unit of Jefferson City, Mo.-based Learfield Communications, Inc., which made its initial foray into the world of sports marketing in 1975. For additional information and the complete collegiate portfolio, visit learfieldsports.com.

ISP is the country’s largest collegiate multimedia rights holder, with partnerships involving more than 60 NCAA member institutions, conferences, bowl games and venues. The ISP family of leading universities and conferences reaches into 34 states from the Northeast through the mid-Atlantic and Southeast, while extending across the Southwest and most of the West coast as well. The company, which is based in Winston-Salem, NC, produces a variety of sponsorship opportunities and services for its partner schools and corporate clients, including publications, radio/TV networks, internet sites, game event promotions and stadium/arena signage.

Posted on Thursday, October 8, 2009