Lexington, KY (Feb. 21, 2011) – Lexington Center Corporation officially announced today that Learfield Sports will retain its position as the exclusive venue-media rights holder for the venerable Rupp Arena through 2016. The five-year extension enables Learfield Sports to continue to manage the property through its local entity, Rupp Arena Sports & Entertainment Properties (RASEP), that will operate as a joint venture agreement with IMG College.

The extension, effective July 1, 2011, will include the installation of an Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) system that will provide enhanced HDTV video amenities throughout the Rupp Arena concourse and concession areas, while also creating additional corporate sponsorship opportunities. Rupp Arena, home to University of Kentucky Men’s Basketball, is a 23,000-seat sports and entertainment center which also plays host to concerts, trade shows and family events throughout the year.

“RASEP (Learfield Sports) has done a terrific job managing the venue-media rights and overseeing those partnerships,” said Bill Owen, president and chief operating officer for Lexington Center Corporation, which operates Rupp Arena. “We are certainly pleased to extend our relationship for another five years. They have represented Rupp Arena with tremendous professionalism and expertise every step of the way.”

Rupp Arena Sports & Entertainment Properties is overseen locally by General Manager Keith Burdette, who joined Learfield Sports in 2008 following the acquisition of Action Sports Media, which previously represented the arena.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to continue serving Bill Owen and the Lexington Center team,” said Learfield Sports’ Senior Vice President Steve Gowan. “Keith Burdette has done an excellent job leading this property and developing corporate sponsorship and branding opportunities that both preserve and enhance the iconic Rupp Arena culture.”

Learfield Sports manages the multimedia and sponsorship rights for more than 50 collegiate institutions, conferences and associations. It also titles the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup, in conjunction with award co-founders NACDA and USA Today. Learfield Sports is an operating unit of Learfield Communications, Inc., which entered the world of sports marketing in 1975 as the radio rights holder for the University of Missouri. For additional information about the company, its history and comprehensive collegiate portfolio, visit learfieldsports.com.

Lexington Center Corporation (LCC) is a corporate agency of the Lexington Fayette Urban County Government (LFUCG) created to manage and maintain Rupp Arena, The Lexington Opera House, the Lexington Convention Center, Triangle Park and The Shops at Lexington Center.

Posted on Friday, February 25, 2011