SPRINGFIELD – Missouri State University Athletics and its multimedia rightsholder, Missouri State Sports Properties, announced today renewed multi-year “Bears Elite Partner” commitments from Great Southern Bank, KOZL-Nexstar and Mercy Springfield, respectively.

The Bears Elite Partner Program, established in 2014, will provide these three corporate supporters additional multi-media connections with Missouri State Athletics in the coming years. Great Southern Bank, KOZL-Nexstar and Mercy Springfield will work closely with Missouri State Sports Properties for elevated digital exposure via the Bears’ official social media platforms and official athletics website, MissouriStateBears.com. In addition, the Bears Elite Partners will receive various sponsorship components through their respective agreements including in-venue signage, radio and television inclusions, event sponsorships and in-game fan engagement.

“We are very appreciative of our top tier partners Great Southern Bank, KOZL-Nexstar and Mercy Springfield and continue to be incredibly grateful for their support of our athletics programming and our student-athletes,” said Missouri State’s Director of Athletics Kyle Moats. “It’s an honor having them as Bears Elite Partners, and we look forward to a successful athletics season.”

In its renewed relationship, Great Southern Bank will continue to be the “Official Banking Partner of Missouri State Athletics” and serve as the official presenting sponsor of the Missouri State Athletics website and mobile app. Great Southern Bank will also be unveiling a new attendance driven initiative with Project Classroom.

“In our over four decades of supporting the Bears, we continue to be proud to associate with this fine institution and appreciate the excellent things they are doing on and off the campus,” said Great Southern Bank Joe Turner, President & CEO. “We’re excited to carry on a great tradition here which is to continue to commit to the Bears.”

As a Bears Elite Partner, KOZL-Nexstar will continue to be Missouri State’s “Official Television Broadcast Partner” airing men and women’s basketball, football, volleyball and baseball games.

“KOZL-Nexstar is thrilled to continue working alongside Missouri State as a Bears Elite Partner,” said Leo Henning, KOZL-Nexstar’s Vice President/General Manager. “Over a third of the employees at KOZL-Nexstar are MSU graduates and we couldn’t be happier to continue our relationship at this integrated level.”

Mercy Springfield will continue to assume the designation as “Official Sports Medicine Provider” for the Bears, while implementing more opportunities for fans to engage digitally with them throughout the year.

“It’s been a pleasure investing in our own community through Missouri State and feel confident that our commitment is impacting the lives of current hard-working Bears, who we believe will go on to positively impact our community and state after graduation,” said Brent Hubbard, Mercy Hospital Springfield Communities President and COO.

Missouri State Sports Properties is the locally based Learfield IMG College team that works alongside the athletics administration to manage the rights relationship and represent local, regional and national businesses looking to along with the Bears. Learfield IMG College unlocks the value of college sports for brands and fans and is headquartered in Plano, Texas. The company has long had the privilege of being an advocate for intercollegiate athletics and the student-athlete experience. Since 2008, it has served as title sponsor for the acclaimed Learfield IMG College Directors’ Cup, supporting athletic departments across all divisions.