Nashville, TN. and Plano, TX (Oct. 2, 2009) – TuitionFund, LLC and Learfield Sports announced today that they have entered into a multi-year license agreement and marketing alliance. The partnership enables credit and debit card issuing financial institutions that license TuitionFund’s patented technology access to over 100 NCAA Division I college sports marketing platforms which Learfield Sports represents or has relationships with through other ventures.
Nashville-based TuitionFund was granted a business method patent earlier this year by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office covering merchant funded rewards programs comprised of on-line and/or “brick-and-mortar” merchants associated with credit and/or debit card programs where the rewards or rebates earned by participating consumers can be directed to a variety of higher education accounts; including tax advantaged college savings accounts, regular college savings accounts, applied against outstanding student loan balances, or contributed to higher education charitable causes such as a college scholarship fund or other tax-exempt college-related charities.
Learfield Sports, an operating unit of Jefferson City, Mo.-based Learfield Communications, Inc., manages the multimedia rights for more than 50 collegiate institutions and associations, including radio broadcast rights for college football, men’s and women’s basketball, and other college sports, athletic venue signage and promotional events, printed game day programs, Web site marketing for the colleges’ sports Web sites, coaches’ television and radio programs, video highlight programs, and certain hospitality services at game day events. Learfield Sports’ collegiate partners include North Carolina, Miami, Memphis, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Penn State, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Stanford, Alabama, the Big Ten Conference, the Western Athletic Conference and the Missouri Valley Conference. The company’s various sales and marketing alliances with other firms enable it to provide and place sponsorships and promotions on the college sports programs of over 100 NCAA Division I colleges, conferences and bowl alliances.
TuitionFund is licensing its patent rights to various banks and financial services companies. TuitionFund’s program offers a card issuer’s credit and/or debit cardholders the opportunity to direct their merchant funded rewards or rebates they generate through everyday qualifying purchases to a higher education account selected by the cardholder and offered by the licensing financial institution.
“Saving for a college education or paying off an outstanding student loan, particularly in today’s economic environment, is a significant challenge for most American families. Approximately two-thirds of today’s college students will have outstanding student loan debt upon graduation, with the average student loan balance at graduation exceeding $20,000. The TuitionFund program helps address this significant challenge by providing licensing banks or card brands the opportunity to help their customers save by enhancing their existing or planned merchant funded rewards and/or rebate programs. Our concept enables families to fund a portion of their costs of higher education by being able to direct the merchant funded rewards or rebates they earn from their everyday credit and debit card purchases to their designated higher education account. We believe the combined assets of TuitionFund’s patent rights and Learfield’s college marketing and promotional platforms provide a bank or card brand a tremendous value proposition. TuitionFund’s patent will allow a bank or card brand to distinguish their rewards program from those of its competitors, and Learfield Sports’ various college marketing agreements and sales alliances provides the licensing bank or card brand and their participating merchants the ability to highly target and cost-efficiently market to colleges and conferences, as well as to their students, parents, alumni, and fans. We believe our combined efforts can be a win-win for all parties involved; particularly the licensing banks, their participating cardholders and their families, and participating merchants” said Michael Thompson, Chairman and President of TuitionFund.
“We believe Learfield Sports’ marketing and promotional platforms can be a valuable outlet,” said Learfield Sports’ Senior Vice President Mike Behymer. “We’re pleased to enter into this agreement with TuitionFund and anticipate new and innovative marketing opportunities for credit and debit card issuing financial institutions and their participating merchants.”
TuitionFund believes Learfield’s marketing and promotional platforms are particularly valuable given the restrictions which are being placed on other forms of marketing to the college audience with the passage of the Credit Card Act of 2009.
Birch, Stewart, Kolasch & Birch, LLP, as patent counsel for TuitionFund, assisted in the negotiations of the license agreement.
For more information about TuitionFund’s patented program or parties interested in licensing TuitionFund’s patented technology, contact Michael Thompson at TuitionFund.
For additional information about Learfield Sports and to see a complete collegiate portfolio, visit learfieldsports.com.
TUITIONFUND CONTACT: Michael Thompson
LEARFIELD SPORTS MARKETING CONTACT:Mike Behymer
(913) 239-8700, ext. 1900
LEARFIELD SPORTS MEDIA CONTACT:Jennifer Duncan
Posted on Friday, October 2, 2009