Wolfpack develops new partnership with Capitol Broadcasting Company, Learfield Sports
RALEIGH, N.C. (March 14, 2012) – North Carolina State University has signed a new 10-year multimedia rights agreement with Wolfpack Sports Properties, LLC, a newly formed joint venture of Capitol Broadcasting Company and Learfield Sports. The new partnership was announced today by NC State’s Director of Athletics Deborah A. Yow.
The Wolfpack Sports Properties sales team, which formerly operated as Wolfpack Sports Marketing, will develop corporate partnerships, as well as manage the operations of the comprehensive rights program, including signage, event marketing, radio play-by-play and coaches’ shows, television coaches’ shows and official athletic web site sponsorships. The new rights agreement will pay NC State a minimum of nearly $49 million over the 10 years.
“We are pleased that this new arrangement for Wolfpack Athletics keeps in place our particularly strong radio network and the valuable corporate relationships Capitol has built over the years, while adding the expertise of industry leader Learfield Sports,” said Yow. “This new arrangement brings us many benefits, including an increase in the annual financial guarantee to State and a promising revenue share formula, while maintaining our excellent working relationship with Capitol Broadcasting Company.”
The Wolfpack Sports Radio Network is one of the strongest collegiate networks in the nation, with coverage reaching more than eight million people, which represents 94 percent of the households in the state of North Carolina. The network blankets the state with over 20 affiliates, the majority of which are FM stations. Coverage also reaches into portions of Virginia and South Carolina. Capitol Broadcasting Company’s powerful WRAL-FM, Mix 101.5 will continue to serve as the Wolfpack’s flagship station in the greater-Triangle market.
“Debbie Yow asked us to consider a new business model, and we are joining forces with Learfield Sports to realize her vision. This puts NC State in a strong position for the next decade,” said Capitol Broadcasting Company CEO James F. Goodmon. “For Wolfpack fans, our partnership of thirty years endures. Mix 101.5 continues as the flagship station, and WRAL television will air the coach’s show on Sunday evenings. The CBC stations in Charlotte and Wilmington are on board, too.”
The announcement also signifies a new opportunity in the state for Learfield Sports, which manages multimedia rights for more than 50 collegiate institutions and associations including fellow ACC member schools University of Miami, Clemson University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It also titles the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup and oversees corporate partner platforms for the Big Ten, WAC and Missouri Valley Conferences.
“NC State has a terrific legacy, and we’re certainly pleased for the opportunity to represent the school and work alongside our friends at Capitol Broadcasting,” said Greg Brown, Learfield’s president and chief executive officer. “Debbie Yow has been a leader in college athletics for years, and we look forward to teaming with her and the entire NC State athletics team.”
As part of the increased revenues for NC State, the new rights agreement with Wolfpack Sports Properties will provide funds for new LED Fascia Display technology and other fan enhancements at Carter-Finley Stadium.
Capitol Broadcasting Company, Inc. is a diversified communications company which owns and/or operates WRAL-TV, WRAL Digital, WRAL-FM, WRAL-HD2, WCMC-FM, WDNC-AM, WCLY-AM, Microspace, CBC New Media Group and Wolfpack Sports Marketing in Raleigh, NC; WJZY-TV and WMYT-TV in Charlotte, NC; WILM-TV and Sunrise Broadcasting in Wilmington, NC; WRAZ-TV and The Durham Bulls in Durham, NC; and real estate interests including the American Tobacco Project and Diamond View office buildings in Durham, NC. In addition to its individual conference and school rights relationships, Learfield Sports provides exclusive sports programming to more than 1,000 radio stations nationwide.
Additionally, Learfield Sports’ programming is seen on more than 160 local television stations, cable systems and Regional Sports Networks. Learfield Sports is an operating unit of Learfield Communications, Inc., which was founded in 1972.