PLANO, Texas – In a move that reshapes the collegiate multimedia landscape, Learfield Sports announced today that it has acquired Nelligan Sports Marketing (NSM), adding 41 collegiate properties to its portfolio.

“This transaction is a strategic move for our company, substantially expanding our platform of college rights,” said Greg Brown, president and CEO of Learfield. “Adding the rights that TJ Nelligan and his colleagues have acquired over the years will strengthen our position in certain regions where we already have significant sponsorship rights.”

Learfield Sports currently owns the multimedia rights to 56 college athletic programs, conferences and athletic venues, including the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky., which is home to the National Champion Louisville Cardinal basketball teams, represented by Nelligan.                           NSM logo


“Learfield is a terrific company with a stellar brand in college athletics,” said Nelligan, chairman of Nelligan Sports Marketing. “Having founded this business, I had a personal interest that the company would end up in the hands of a great firm that would care for our employees and clients with great service and integrity. Learfield fits the bill beautifully.”

The business will operate with the name of Learfield Sports, effective immediately, and terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Nelligan and Tim Hofferth will continue to work with Learfield to manage certain partnerships and strategic initiatives.

“We will be integrating the operations from NSM immediately, and we plan to grow the base of business,” added Brown. “We are also excited about the additional capabilities we can provide the NSM schools.” Both executives noted that the transaction will provide Nelligan employees with increased support from a larger organization and greater career opportunities. “I’m very pleased that our people will have growth opportunities that didn’t exist for them previously,” said Nelligan.

Learfield was founded in 1972 and currently has 380 full time employees. Nelligan Sports Marketing was founded by TJ Nelligan in 1999 and currently has 85 full time employees.

In addition to its core multimedia rights business, Learfield Sports has a collegiate ticket sales joint venture with IMG College, IMG Learfield Ticket Solutions, and also works with Levy Restaurants to provide colleges with premium concessions services. The company also titles the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup with co-founders NACDA and USA Today and will host the inaugural Learfield Sports Minority Academy with MOAA in Dallas, May 19-23. Learfield’s exclusive sports programming reaches more than 56 million television households nationally and delivers nearly 17,000 hours of radio programming on more than 1,100 radio stations. For more about its 40-year history and comprehensive collegiate portfolio, visit