DALLAS – SMU Director of Athletics Rick Hart and Learfield Communications President and CEO Greg Brown jointly announced today that the Mustangs have agreed to a seven-year athletic multimedia rights agreement with Plano-based Learfield Sports. The exclusive partnership is effective immediately and will officially commence with the start of football and the 2013-14 athletic season.
Learfield Sports, a prominent leader in the collegiate multimedia rights space with a 40-year history and over 50 individual institutional and conference relationships, will establish “Mustang Sports Properties” as the local entity to work directly with Hart and SMU athletics administration. In addition, the SMU in-house staff, which has been handling the university’s athletic rights, will be transitioning to the Learfield team and Mustang Sports Properties.
Learfield Sports’ Mustang Sports Properties will manage every aspect of the comprehensive rights relationship that includes signage, sponsorships, corporate hospitality, event marketing, play-by-play radio, television and radio coaches’ shows, and official athletic website advertising.
Hart is quite familiar with Learfield Sports, having previously served as the athletic director at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga and senior associate athletic director for the University of Oklahoma, both of which are represented by Learfield.
“When we made the decision to outsource our rights, our goal was to select a leader in collegiate multimedia rights as our partner,” said Hart. “I trust and respect Learfield and could not be more pleased they agreed to run alongside us. Learfield is the right choice for SMU moving forward, especially with their corporate offices nearby in Plano, and we anticipate a successful, fruitful relationship over the next seven years. This is exciting news for Mustang Athletics.”
“There’s no question we’ve developed a unique relationship with Rick over the years, and we couldn’t be more excited to again have the opportunity to work closely with him and to represent the Mustang brand on a local, regional and national level,” said Brown. “SMU has a rich athletic tradition and is based in a very important market. Those attributes are fundamental to a successful sponsorship program and provide sponsors with great benefits.”
Learfield Sports now represents three American Athletic Conference schools – SMU, Memphis and Tulsa – and three universities in the state of Texas, with the Mustangs joining Texas A&M and Texas Tech.
Today, Learfield Sports’ exclusive sports programming reaches more than 50 million television households nationally and delivers nearly 17,000 hours of radio programming on more than 1,100 radio stations. To learn more about the company’s 40-year history, complete collegiate portfolio, Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup partnership or involvement in collegiate ticketing and concessions, visit www.learfieldsports.com.
SMU, the only Division I athletic program in Dallas, Texas, sponsors 17 sports and has been ranked as the top school in its conference for 11 of the last 16 years in the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup overall athletic rankings. More information about SMU and its coaches, student-athletes and teams is available at www.SMUMustangs.com.