Sales and multimedia rights arm of Bears athletics will increase subsidies as part of extension
WEST PLAINS, Mo. — At its regularly-scheduled meeting here Friday, the Missouri State University Board of Governors formally approved an extension of the partnership between MSU Athletics and Learfield Sports in an agreement that will extend through the 2025-26 academic year.
Missouri State Sports Properties, which was developed out of the acquisition of Nelligan Sports Marketing by Learfield in February 2014, manages all aspects of the Bears’ multimedia rights including venue signage, event sponsorships/marketing, corporate hospitality, radio and television game broadcasts and coaches’ shows. The dedicated unit is designed to support MSU Athletics’ initiatives to enhance revenue and the services provided to local and regional businesses while promoting the Bears’ brand to the corporate community.
“The 10-year extension between Missouri State and Learfield Sports is very exciting for us and will help Missouri State in several key areas,” said MSU Director of Athletics Kyle Moats. “The most compelling aspect of the agreement is helping us increase revenue for Athletics. But increasing fan entertainment and the overall fan experience will certainly be byproducts of this deal as well.”
Among a long list of benefits from the new agreement, Learfield will provide funding for digital enhancements, including an LED ribbon board for the mezzanine facade at JQH Arena in time for the upcoming season. Learfield will also increase its annual subsidy guarantee to the University and fund a full-time director of marketing position within the Athletic Department on the MSU campus.
“There’s no question when fans walk into JQH Arena this winter, it’s going to feel like a new game day experience,” said Moats. “The Q will continue to be one of the top on-campus basketball facilities in the country for many years to come. I want to thank Greg Brown at Learfield for his leadership with this initiative as well as Missouri State President Clif Smart and our legal counsel Rachael Dockery who spent a lot of time helping make this deal a true win-win for Missouri State University.”
“We’re excited to have the opportunity to continue representing the Bears,” said Learfield CEO Greg Brown. “It’s a pleasure teaming with Athletic Director Kyle Moats and his administrative team to elevate Missouri State Athletics and connect the Bear and Lady Bear programs to the business community.”
Mike Peddicord is the general manager for Missouri State Sports Properties and is joined by Sharry Olson, director of sales and marketing.
MSU is one of five Missouri Valley Conference members to have an individual rights agreement with Learfield Sports, joining Bradley, Indiana State, Northern Iowa and Southern Illinois. The conference itself also has a long-term relationship with Learfield, which operates MVC Sports Properties, developing league-level corporate partnership programs.
In 2010, the MSU Board of Governors approved a seven-year contract with Nelligan Sports Marketing in 2010 after a Request for Proposals (RFP) process to run through 2017. Learfield took over the MSU contract and agreed to its terms (through 2016-17) when it acquired NSM.
In addition to its core business of nearly 100 collegiate multimedia rights properties which consist of institutional, conference and facility-level partnerships, Learfield Sports sponsors the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup with award co-founders NACDA and USA Today. Learfield offers its collegiate partners with professional concessions and ticket sales, licensing and trademark consulting, digital platform expertise and venue signage and technology systems through its owned and operated companies.