NORMAL, Ill. – Illinois State University Director of Athletics Larry Lyons and Learfield President and CEO Greg Brown announced today a first-of-its-kind partnership for the university as the Redbirds outsource its comprehensive multimedia rights for the next 10 years.
The ISU-Learfield relationship is in effect now, while the agreement is concurrent with the start of the 2017-18 athletic season. The collegiate marketer already is working closely with Lyons and his athletics administration to establish “Redbird Sports Properties” – Learfield’s local team that will be solely dedicated to representing Illinois State. In addition to managing all aspects of the Redbirds’ rights including signage, digital, television and radio play-by-play and coaches’ shows, Redbird Sports Properties will develop a corporate partner platform that also may be leveraged with support from Learfield National Sales.
“This new partnership with Learfield is a tremendous step forward for our department,” said Lyons. “Not only is the company the leader in representing collegiate programs in the sponsorship marketplace, but the contract speaks volumes to the regional and national value and strength of the Illinois State brand.”
Learfield has been a leader in the collegiate athletics landscape nationwide for more than four decades, and with the addition of Illinois State, it now represents seven members of the Missouri Valley Conference or Missouri Valley Football Conference. In addition to serving as rights partner to the MVC on a league-wide level, Learfield holds individual rights agreements with Bradley University, Missouri State, Northern Iowa, South Dakota, South Dakota State and Southern Illinois. Within the state of Illinois, Learfield has rights partnerships with University of Illinois, Northern Illinois University, Northwestern University and the Big Ten Conference.
“We look forward to building a long-term relationship with Larry and his team, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to represent the Redbirds, not only by helping to continue building its brand, but by bringing new ideas in digital and experiential to broaden ISU fan experiences overall,” said Brown.
The Illinois State University athletic program sponsors 19 NCAA Division I sports and supports over 400 student-athletes who compete at the highest level of collegiate athletics. A member of the nationally-respected Missouri Valley Conference, Illinois State has finished in the top 3 of the MVC All-Sport Trophy standings in 24 of the past 26 years while winning 12 times. Conference success has led to national recognition, as Redbird student-athletes have won national championships, All-America honors, been named Academic All-Americans and represented the University in the Olympics and at the professional level. For more information, visit www.GoRedbirds.com.
In addition to Illinois State, Learfield manages the multimedia and sponsorship rights for more than 120 collegiate institutions, conferences and arenas across the country, and supports athletic departments at all competitive levels as title sponsor of the prestigious Learfield Directors’ Cup. Learfield also provides its collegiate partners access to professional concessions and ticket sales; branding, licensing and trademark consulting; digital and social platform expertise; campus-wide business and sponsorship development; and venue and technology systems through its affiliated companies.