Columbia, Mo. – Mizzou Athletics and its multimedia rights partner, Mizzou Sports Properties, announced the launch of an integrated, expanded corporate partnership with the Missouri Army National Guard on Friday.

The partnership will bolster visibility for the National Guard during the 2011-12 school year, primarily among seven sports programs, which will feature a Missouri National Guard patch on their practice jerseys. The sports of football, volleyball, soccer, men’s and women’s basketball, softball and baseball will all be featured in this new program and will prominently display the Missouri National Guard logo in Mizzou’s black and gold colors.

The Missouri Army National Guard will also receive other elements such as venue signage, hospitalities and on-field ceremonies as part of the partnership. This marks the third consecutive year that the Missouri Army National Guard has partnered with Mizzou.

“We’re excited to partner with the Mizzou Athletics Department,” Major General Stephen Danner, Adjutant General of the Missouri Army National Guard said. “This unique agreement joins two well respected Missouri institutions into a mutually beneficial relationship. Through this partnership, the Missouri National Guard will be exposed to a large and diverse audience. This will result in an increased awareness of the Missouri National Guard as a viable alternative for patriotic Missourians who want the challenge of serving their state and nation. It will also increase the quality and quantity of new recruits into our ranks.”

This partnership is another way the University of Missouri community has continued to support and provide visibility to the many statewide initiatives touched by the Missouri National Guard, including tornado relief efforts in Joplin following the deadly May 22 storm.

“It’s an honor for our program to partner with the Missouri National Guard,” Mizzou Football Head Coach Gary Pinkel said. “The work they do is so important, from their efforts in Joplin or flood relief to all the other amazing things they do to keep us safe. We’ll wear the patch with pride, knowing what it represents.”

The university as a whole has raised more than $1 million in disaster relief for Joplin and afflicted areas. Those efforts include (but are not limited to) the highly successful One State. One Spirit. One Mizzou. t-shirt campaign which has topped $250,000 in giving, a fundraising telethon, outreach trips by staffers, supply donation drives and the Leggett & Platt One State, One Spirit Classic basketball game, which will be centered around a 5:41 p.m. moment of silence on Oct. 30 in Joplin.

“What a tremendous partnership and what a great daily reminder to our student-athletes of all the important things that are being done by the Missouri National Guard, both here at home and abroad,” Mizzou Basketball Head Coach Frank Haith said. “We have seen firsthand their efforts in Joplin and we admire their courage to protect our freedom.”

Patches will go on team practice uniforms as early as this weekend and will be viewable during Missouri Football’s Saturday morning scrimmage tomorrow at Faurot Field.

Mizzou Sports Properties is a property of Learfield Sports, which manages multimedia rights for more than 50 collegiate institutions and associations. In addition to Missouri, the company represents fellow Big 12 Conference member institutions Iowa State, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and Texas Tech. The company also titles the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup with NACDA and USA Today and manages marketing partnerships for the Black Coaches & Administrators (BCA). For more information about the company, its history and complete collegiate portfolio, visit