West Virginia University officials announced Thursday that the school's Tier 3 media rights have been awarded to IMG College. The agreement takes effect for the 2013-2014 academic year and will pay WVU more than $80 million over 12 years, with additional revenue sharing opportunities possible, officials said.
Under the partnership, IMG College will manage things like local radio and TV broadcasts and coaches shows; websites and social media accounts; advertising on signage at Milan Puskar Stadium, the Coliseum and other athletic facilities; game day promotions and hospitality; and printed publications like schedules and media guides. IMG will station a team dedicated to WVU in Morgantown, officials said.
"It was time for WVU Athletics to grow our multimedia and sponsorship sales, especially with our recent move to the Big 12 Conference," said WVU Director of Athletics Oliver Luck. "With the resources, services and proven track record that IMG College brings, WVU now has the opportunity to expand its revenue base by engaging new national sponsors while building our athletic and university brand. I'm extremely pleased with this move."
WVU will keep some current sponsorship agreements for things like athletic apparel, beverage service, financial services and health care, according to a news release from the university.
IMG College is based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and represents more than 90 universities and collegiate athletic properties like the NCAA and all of its championships. It already represents fellow Big 12 schools Baylor, Kansas, TCU and Texas, as well as top programs like Alabama, Ohio State and Notre Dame. Marshall is also listed as an IMG College client.
"West Virginia is one of the last major schools to handle multimedia and sponsorship sales in house. The university's decision to entrust IMG to grow its sponsor and revenue base while building the school brand continues to validate IMG's collegiate services and burgeoning national marketing platform," said Ben Sutton, President of IMG College.
University officials also announced that radio broadcasts would be moving to IMG Audio and that IMG will partner with West Virginia Media Holdings to develop TV shows like the coaches shows. WVillustrated.com is owned by West Virginia Media Holdings and has produced the Bob Huggins Show and the Dana Holgorsen Show for the past few seasons.