Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Deal includes integrated women’s basketball platform, Auriemma podcast,
enhanced radio relationship and debut of Social Plus
STORRS, Conn, October 17, 2018 – IMG announced today that it has agreed to a 15-year extension with the University of Connecticut to remain the exclusive multimedia rights holder and licensing agent for UConn athletics through 2033.
The relationship includes innovative opportunities for brands and fans to connect with UConn Athletics including the successful Geno Auriemma ‘Holding Court’ podcast, a new radio affiliate relationship with iHeartMedia Hartford’s 97.9 ESPN, and the debut of IMG’s Social Plus platform that actively engages UConn fans through social and digital content posted to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The deal will also see the launch of a fully integrated women’s basketball sponsorship platform harnessing the success of Auriemma’s storied program that has won 11 NCAA Division I National Championships.
“For the past decade the partnership between IMG and UConn has generated impactful revenue that directly benefits our athletics teams and we are pleased to extend the relationship through 2033,” said David Benedict, UConn’s director of athletics. “This agreement provides a unique revenue sharing model, which will positively impact our bottom line and help support our pursuit of graduation and championships.”
Throughout the agreement, IMG College will continue to provide exclusive representation of the corporate partner program and commercial business for Huskies Athletics. The multimedia rights partnership between UConn and IMG College began in 2008.
We are thrilled to continue our long-standing and multi-faceted partnership with the entire team at UConn Athletics,” said Tim Pernetti, President, IMG College. “The next chapter of our relationship brings together multi-media rights and licensing, and provides perfect alignment to deliver resources and strategy that will further enhance the Husky brand. Together, we will provide an awesome experience for student-athletes, fans and the entire UConn Nation.”
Highlights of the 15-year extension include:
The debut of Social Plus includes an embedded correspondent within UConn Athletics to produce and distribute social and digital content. This new feature provides fans with consistent behind-the-scenes access across a variety of sports. Some of the content includes sponsor integration, accommodating the shifting opportunities for brands to creatively connect with fans.
In its second year, Holding Court with Geno Auriemma will continue to feature A-list guests including Tiger Woods, Charles Barkley and Kobe Bryant. The podcast, which is produced and distributed by IMG, highlights a unique opportunity for Auriemma to share his passion for coaching, culture and current events.
The UConn IMG Radio Network now consists of eight stations that provide statewide coverage across Connecticut, anchored by iHeartMedia Hartford's 97.9 ESPN (WUCS-FM) as the flagship station for UConn Athletics games. The relationship between the UConn-IMG Radio Network and 97.9 ESPN will also include pre- and post-game shows as well as the UConn Women's Basketball Coach's Radio Show with Geno Auriemma, the UConn Men's Basketball Coach's Radio Show with Dan Hurley, UConn Football Coach's Radio Show with Randy Edsall, and the UConn Hockey Coach's Radio Show with Michael Cavanaugh.
IMG will also continue to manage the university’s successful trademark licensing program for the duration of the agreement. The University of Connecticut’s program has generated more than $17 million in licensing royalties since the school partnered with IMG College Licensing in 1986. Across the last 10 fiscal years, royalties have grown 86 percent. Officially licensed product for the University of Connecticut is currently sold at more than 584 retailers across the country. Revenue from the sale of UConn licensed products supports both academics, through scholarships, as well as athletics.
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About the University of Connecticut
The University of Connecticut is one of the top public research universities in the nation, with more than 30,000 students pursuing answers to critical questions in labs, lecture halls, and the community. Knowledge exploration throughout the University’s network of campuses is united by a culture of innovation. A strong commitment from the state of Connecticut ensures UConn attracts internationally renowned faculty and the world’s brightest students. A tradition of coaching winning athletes makes UConn a standout in Division l sports and fuels our academic spirit. As a vibrant, progressive leader, UConn fosters a diverse and dynamic culture that meets the challenges of a changing global society.
IMG is a global leader in sports, fashion, events and media, operating in more than 30 countries. The company manages some of the world’s greatest sports figures and fashion icons; stages hundreds of live events and branded entertainment experiences annually; and is a leading independent producer and distributor of sports and entertainment media. IMG also specializes in sports training and league development, as well as marketing, media and licensing for brands, sports organizations and collegiate institutions. IMG is part of the Endeavor (formerly WME | IMG) network.