New Brand Signifies Full Integration of LRG, SMA

PLANO, Texas – Learfield Sports announced today that it has completed the integration of its licensing, merchandising and trademark services and that the new name for the business will be Learfield Licensing Partners. The new name becomes effective immediately.

Learfield entered the brand management and licensing business last year, with the acquisitions of Licensing Resource Group (LRG) and Strategic Marketing Affiliates (SMA). Learfield Licensing Partners serves more than 550 collegiate partners nationwide, and given Learfield’s significant presence in collegiate athletics, it is poised for tremendous growth.

“This is an exciting day for us and our clients. When we announced the acquisitions of LRG and SMA last year, we noted how we were carrying out our strategic plan of growing our extended business lines—the new ways we intend to serve our university partners,” said Learfield President and CEO Greg Brown. “Today, by fully combining LRG and SMA under the Learfield Licensing Partners banner, we are taking another step in building out this suite of important services.”

As was previously announced, Lewis Hardy, former LRG CEO, will serve as chairman, and former SMA CEO Bob Bernard will lead the combined organization as president and CEO. The rest of the Learfield Licensing Partners senior leadership team will be comprised of Wil Spires, executive vice president of licensee and retail development; John Mybeck, executive vice president of brand management; Tony Johnson, executive vice president of business development; and Michael Van Wieren, senior vice president of administration. Bernard and Hardy will report to Learfield Sports’ COO Marc Jenkins.

The introduction of Learfield Licensing Partners joins ticket sales, concessions and hospitality and the digital platform, SIDEARM Sports, in Learfield Sports’ group of extended business lines.

“Our corporate culture and client relationships are paramount to our business, and we’re confident that Learfield Licensing Partners will play an integral role in producing great results for our collegiate partners,” added Brown. “We’re pleased to be able to take this new brand to market and even more excited about the possibilities that exist.”

Learfield Sports’ rich history includes four decades of developing trusted, long-term relationships with some of the most revered institutions and associations in the world of college sports. The company has multi-media rights relationships with nearly 100 leading athletic programs in all of the major conferences and titles the prestigious Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup. To learn more about the company’s history, businesses and job opportunities, please visit