SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Missouri State University and its multimedia rights partner, Learfield Sports’ Missouri State Sports Properties, recently introduced a brand-new designation for local, regional and national businesses looking to significantly back the institution. The “Bears Elite Partner Program” – providing assets across all platforms and increased visibility on a broader level – is reserved for the department’s top corporate partners willing to make a five-year commitment at an elevated investment.
Mercy, Great Southern Bank, and KOLR 10/KOZL are the inaugural Bears Elite Partners and will work closely with Missouri State Sports Properties to ensure they have an even greater affinity throughout the year on campus, with alumni and in the community. In addition to in-venue signage, these brands will receive elevated exposure through the radio and television platforms as well as through various event sponsorships, in-game promotions and hospitality. Their widespread program support will involve philanthropic components as well. The Bears Elite partnerships represent the three largest corporate sponsorships in the history of Missouri State Athletics.
“We’re grateful to Mercy, Great Southern Bank and Nexstar’s KOLR 10 and KOZL for stepping up and expressing their broad-based support for Missouri State University and our athletics program as top tier partners,” said Missouri State’s Director of Athletics Kyle Moats. “Not only have they each been long-time supporters of the Bears, they are demonstrating their commitment to us for the foreseeable future. We’re honored and privileged to call them partners.”
Jon Swope, regional president of Mercy’s Central Communities added, “It has been an honor to be affiliated with Missouri State for more than three decades. Our EMS team, athletic trainers, sports medicine and orthopedic physicians are privileged to work side by side with so many great leaders at MSU. This elite partnership is a win-win for both organizations.”
“Great Southern has had an ongoing relationship with Missouri State for more than 40 years. Missouri State and its athletic programs play a major economic and cultural role in our community, and we are proud to be a supporter and named a Bears Elite Partner,” said Great Southern Bank President and CEO Joe Turner.
“Missouri State is important to the economic, social and cultural growth of the Ozarks,” said Leo T. Henning, vice president and general manager for Nexstar Broadcasting, which owns MSU flagship stations KOLR/KOZL. “We support the institution because it is the life blood of regional business development and over a third the entire workforce at KOLR 10/KOZL are MSU graduates.“
Missouri State Sports Properties General Manager Frank M. Cuervo noted that while the Bears Elite Partner Program is limited to an exclusive group of supporters, there is room for growth and expansion.
“I am thrilled and appreciative that Great Southern Bank, Mercy and KOLR 10/KOZL have agreed to be the inaugural members of the Bears Elite Partner Program,” said Cuervo. “Their contributions will help Missouri State achieve a margin of excellence in the classroom, in community efforts and on the fields of competition. While this group of supporters will remain small and distinct by design, we believe there are opportunities for partners in other business categories to back Missouri State at this elite level.”
Missouri State is one of nearly 100 collegiate properties managed by Learfield Sports. Since 1972, Learfield has developed trusted, long-term relationships with some of the most revered institutions and associations in the world of collegiate athletics. The company also titles the prestigious Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup with award co-founders NACDA and USA Today. To learn more, visit www.learfieldsports.com.