“The Bear Den” Student Section to Debut with Coca-Cola Commitment
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Brown University and its athletics multimedia rightsholder, Learfield’s Brown Bears Sports Properties, kick off the 2017-18 season introducing numerous enhancements for fans including bolstered broadcast relationships, as well as elevated support from local, regional and statewide corporate partners.
Brown students attending on-campus games will watch from “The Bear Den” – a brand-new student section unveiled this season and presented by corporate partner Coca-Cola. Fans of all ages also will enjoy the newly expanded Brown Bears Blvd. on football game days. The interactive fan area – introduced last season as a pre-game hub for fans – will feature additional sponsored activities, giveaways and innovations during the 2017 season. Brown Bears Blvd. is located on the grass field in Lot A, directly across from the main ticket booths, and is free and open to fans prior to each home football game.
This year, Brown will have two nationally televised football games against Ivy League opponents Yale (on NBC Sports Network Friday, Nov. 3 at 8 p.m.) and Dartmouth (on NBC Sports Network Friday, Nov. 10 at 8 p.m. at venerable Fenway Park in Boston). In addition, fans will find athletics programming on flagship Cumulus AM790 as Brown Bears Sports Properties (BBSP) recently secured a five-year partnership with the station, with even more shows added. BBSP is in final negotiations to air expanded television coverage for Brown men’s and women’s basketball as well.
“We’re excited about the new season upon us, and certainly grateful for the incredible support of our sponsors and various partners who back the Bears and our campus community. Our rights partner, Learfield, has done a tremendous job steering our sponsorship sales and creative initiatives, and we’re particularly thrilled with what’s being ushered in for this year,” said Brown University Director of Athletics Jack Hayes. “We anticipate our students will thoroughly enjoy having their own place to be inside our venues, with The Bear Den, and appreciate Coca-Cola stepping up to make that special. We have many areas and elements that we’ve placed a significant emphasis on and we’re proud of what has materialized.”
The heightened corporate partner involvement has been a hallmark initiative for Learfield’s BBSP which has seen companies such as Blue Cross Blue Shield, Elite Physical Therapy, Rhode Island Medical Imaging and Mercedes-Benz Warwick commit to Brown Athletics and align their brand with that of the Bears. This marks the second year Mercedes-Benz Warwick will have a car display at Brown Bears Blvd. on football game days, and the automaker has been a dedicated supporter of both men’s and women’s sports.
“Our partnership with the Brown Bears has exceeded our expectations and delivered tangible, measurable business results. We have been able to engage a qualified and targeted fan base and our partnership has allowed us to build relationships with the Brown community,” said Dan Rickerman, general manager for Mercedes-Benz of Warwick.
David Vinturella, general manager for Brown Bears Sports Properties, added, “We’re always striving to create impactful partnerships not only for the brand but for the athletic department, its student-athletes, fans and campus community as well. Jack and the entire athletic administration are remarkable to work with and we look forward to another great season supporting the Bears.”
In addition to Brown, Learfield manages the multimedia rights and sponsorship initiatives for nearly 130 collegiate properties nationwide. Learfield, an industry leader for more than four decades, has a deep presence in the college athletics landscape and supports athletic departments at all competitive levels as title sponsor of the prestigious Learfield Directors’ Cup. The company 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.