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Illinois Announces Partnership with Learfield Sports

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Old Dec 12, 2012, 01:41 PM   #1
Dan
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Illinois-Learfield Agree to 10-Year Multimedia Rights Partnership

The University of Illinois has selected Learfield Sports as the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics (DIA) exclusive athletics marketing partner and multimedia rights holder for the next 10 years, as announced today by Director of Athletics Mike Thomas.

This move signifies the first time DIA has outsourced its multimedia rights in a comprehensive package. The formal agreement was finalized on Nov. 29 and the partnership is already underway.

"Learfield Sports is a leader in the collegiate space, and a dominant presence in the Big Ten landscape," said Thomas. "The partnership will allow the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics to improve our fiscal standing steadily over the next decade, and allow greater corporate involvement in our programs. This move will continue to make us even more competitive in our pursuit for championships."

http://www.fightingillini.com/genrel/121212aae.html
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 08:07 PM   #2
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I read the link. It seems a bit confusing, though. Are they a marketing firm who is going to market Illini athletics? It seems that there might be a bit of a conflict of interest of sorts. They also represent other teams in the B1G.

I am sure this is all hammered out in the details of the contract. I do wonder, though, are they going to generate the amount of income that they are paid by U of I? Seems like an interesting gamble.

Isn't there a top notch business/marketing program at the University already? Shouldn't they use marketing the athletics of U of I as a program for the school? I would think this would be a great idea.

What am I missing?

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Old Dec 13, 2012, 08:20 PM   #3
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I read the link. It seems a bit confusing, though. Are they a marketing firm who is going to market Illini athletics? It seems that there might be a bit of a conflict of interest of sorts. They also represent other teams in the B1G.

I am sure this is all hammered out in the details of the contract. I do wonder, though, are they going to generate the amount of income that they are paid by U of I? Seems like an interesting gamble.

Isn't there a top notch business/marketing program at the University already? Shouldn't they use marketing the athletics of U of I as a program for the school? I would think this would be a great idea.

What am I missing?
The biggest points I could pull from it are these:
  • a financial guarantee
  • Learfield is assuming the radio and TV production costs, which the DIA doesn't have to worry about then
  • Learfield is helping pay for the nice new video scoreboard
  • I would guess Learfield probably has better abilities to get more corporate sponsorships

These are just guesses on my part as to why it would help, but it seems to be a lot more than just marketing that a business or marketing program at the University could provide.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 08:30 PM   #4
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The biggest points I could pull from it are these:
  • a financial guarantee
  • Learfield is assuming the radio and TV production costs, which the DIA doesn't have to worry about then
  • Learfield is helping pay for the nice new video scoreboard
  • I would guess Learfield probably has better abilities to get more corporate sponsorships

These are just guesses on my part as to why it would help, but it seems to be a lot more than just marketing that a business or marketing program at the University could provide.
They will be in charge of tickets eventually.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 08:31 PM   #5
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The new scoreboard will probably have a Learfield sports logo somewhere on it, and as HsvIllini said, more corporate sponsorships. But the only thing the average fan is going to notice that is different is when Brian Barnhart goes to commercial and he says, "this is Illinois basketball, presented by Learfield Sports." Other than the new scoreboard and the radio bits, I can't find any other tangible ways fans are going to see Learfield Sports around the U of I area.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 08:39 PM   #6
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This is Thomas pulling us out of yet another Guenther folly. Nobody else does this in-house anymore, and it's an instant boost to the revenue stream.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 08:40 PM   #7
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I agree HSV, what they are providing does seem to be a lot more than the university would get by keeping everything in house.

WizardBill - Even major companies, like State Farm, use outside vendors for marketing purposes. They will most certainly be doing this at a cost to UI that is less than if UI does all of the work themselves. Add on top of that the fact they are a specialized company and therefor most likely more effective in their efforts.

I would think it would be a terrible idea to have a bunch of people who have never actually marketed anything to run the marketing program for a major college athletics program. It is one thing to learn the theory, but another to have done it in practice and to understand exactly how things work in the real world.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 09:03 PM   #8
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I agree HSV, what they are providing does seem to be a lot more than the university would get by keeping everything in house.

WizardBill - Even major companies, like State Farm, use outside vendors for marketing purposes. They will most certainly be doing this at a cost to UI that is less than if UI does all of the work themselves. Add on top of that the fact they are a specialized company and therefor most likely more effective in their efforts.

I would think it would be a terrible idea to have a bunch of people who have never actually marketed anything to run the marketing program for a major college athletics program. It is one thing to learn the theory, but another to have done it in practice and to understand exactly how things work in the real world.
I understand all of this. However, your comment regarding State Farm, they are an insurance company, they are not a business school with a marketing program, so I would imagine that they are far less qualified than U of I to do marketing, unless they have their own marketing divisioin.

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Old Dec 13, 2012, 10:16 PM   #9
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I understand all of this. However, your comment regarding State Farm, they are an insurance company, they are not a business school with a marketing program, so I would imagine that they are far less qualified than U of I to do marketing, unless they have their own marketing divisioin.
Using your same argument, U of I's marketing program at the business school I would imagine is far less qualified and has fewer corporate connections than a company that does nothing but this as its business. The other main piece is the financial aspect.

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Old Dec 14, 2012, 05:56 AM   #10
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This is Thomas pulling us out of yet another Guenther folly. Nobody else does this in-house anymore, and it's an instant boost to the revenue stream.

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Old Dec 14, 2012, 06:16 AM   #11
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Does this mean I'll be able to listen to streamed radio broadcasts now?
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 06:37 AM   #12
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I understand all of this. However, your comment regarding State Farm, they are an insurance company, they are not a business school with a marketing program, so I would imagine that they are far less qualified than U of I to do marketing, unless they have their own marketing divisioin.
It doesn't matter that they are an insurance company, they are one of the 50 largest companies in this country, and they have a huge marketing department. It just doesn't make sense to keep everything in house 100% of the time.

From a business standpoint, there is no way the athletic program would hire a bunch of students to run the marketing when they have zero experience or any track record of sucess dealing with large marketing efforts.
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 06:48 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by WizardBill View Post
I read the link. It seems a bit confusing, though. Are they a marketing firm who is going to market Illini athletics? It seems that there might be a bit of a conflict of interest of sorts. They also represent other teams in the B1G.

I am sure this is all hammered out in the details of the contract. I do wonder, though, are they going to generate the amount of income that they are paid by U of I? Seems like an interesting gamble.

Isn't there a top notch business/marketing program at the University already? Shouldn't they use marketing the athletics of U of I as a program for the school? I would think this would be a great idea.

What am I missing?
Their web site gives a little bit of an overview of what they do:

http://learfieldsports.com/
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 08:08 AM   #14
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Does this mean I'll be able to listen to streamed radio broadcasts now?
You can listen to streamed radio broadcasts now ($9.95/month)- http://www.fightingillini.com/allaccess/ (every B1G school's radio broadcast is on this premium plan)
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 08:10 AM   #15
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I hope we get to see a mock-up of what the new scoreboards and ribbon boards inside the stadium will look like soon.
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 08:43 AM   #16
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Does this mean I'll be able to listen to streamed radio broadcasts now?
Learfield is already producing the radio broadcasts, so that's not going to change anything.
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 09:02 AM   #17
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I understand all of this. However, your comment regarding State Farm, they are an insurance company, they are not a business school with a marketing program, so I would imagine that they are far less qualified than U of I to do marketing, unless they have their own marketing divisioin.
This is kind of like saying we should have law students represent the University in court, or medical students be team doctors.
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Old Dec 15, 2012, 06:51 PM   #18
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This is kind of like saying we should have law students represent the University in court, or medical students be team doctors.
Good point. I was wrong.

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Old Dec 16, 2012, 10:18 AM   #19
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You can listen to streamed radio broadcasts now ($9.95/month)- http://www.fightingillini.com/allaccess/ (every B1G school's radio broadcast is on this premium plan)
I called Learfield Sports a few weeks ago and then called the U of I group that manages it on this end. I was wanting to find out why none of the games were being streamed live on 97.5, WDWS or WSOY etc.

Now I see they are offering it on their own network and leave the radio stations that carry their games live on radio out in the cold and not allow them to stream these games !!

The kicker is the cell providers have taken away live FM radio so you have to stream to listen on your phone and now you have to pay air time for the cell for GB usage and also pay for the 9.95 a month, what a bunch of crap !!

I guess I need to move back in technology and buy a transistor radio again.

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Old Dec 16, 2012, 10:39 AM   #20
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I called Learfield Sports a few weeks ago and then called the U of I group that manages it on this end. I was wanting to find out why none of the games were being streamed live on 97.5, WDWS or WSOY etc.

Now I see they are offering it on their own network and leave the radio stations that carry their games live on radio out in the cold and not allow them to stream these games !!

The kicker is the cell providers have taken away live FM radio so you have to stream to listen on your phone and now you have to pay air time for the cell for GB usage and also pay for the 9.95 a month, what a bunch of crap !!

I guess I need to move back in technology and buy a transistor radio again.
It's been this way for many years now, has nothing to do with Learfield.
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 10:44 AM   #21
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ALL ABOUT MONEY

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Learfield is already producing the radio broadcasts, so that's not going to change anything.
Yes it does, it is free on am/fm off the air broadcasts although you have to pay for it when streaming on your cellular device or the like !!!

Everything sports is going to be streamed on their own network so you will have to pay. It will not be long that am/fm radio as we have known it all our lives will be gone too !!!

They have now sold out their main supporters for all these years in the ILLINI Sports Networks as we have known them. Most all of these am/fm stations have streaming audio for their broadcasts, now they have to block sporting events for their streaming during live games as they are not allowed to stream these games. What a great set-up we had but no more, the BIG TEN and U of I wants moooooooooooore money !!

I do believe WDWS streamed the HAWAII game when the broadcast online was terrible. I was very surprised and they probably got in trouble for it ??

Some times at night am radio doesn't carry on the airwaves very far, here in Decatur we can't receive WDWS very well in the evening although I can always get their stream, just not for sports anymore :~(

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Old Dec 16, 2012, 10:54 AM   #22
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It's been this way for many years now, has nothing to do with Learfield.


When I talked to Learfield a few weeks back I was told everyone's contract was different. It all has to do with Learfield and whatever contract they can negotiate with each school. At the time I spoke with them not all the Big Ten schools were on board and the contracts were different with each school. I am sure they have all got together as a group now, just not sure if all contracts are the same ???

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Old Dec 16, 2012, 12:24 PM   #23
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My point is the only way to get a streaming audio feed for Illini games for the past 5 (7? maybe longer) years has been to pay the $9.95 monthly. That was true when the DIA was producing them in house and true now with Learfield. I've noticed WDWS and other stations do stream the feed at times, I think someone forgets to disconnect the feed. The days of getting content for "free" has been steadily coming to an end.
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 12:55 PM   #24
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G R E E D

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My point is the only way to get a streaming audio feed for Illini games for the past 5 (7? maybe longer) years has been to pay the $9.95 monthly. That was true when the DIA was producing them in house and true now with Learfield. I've noticed WDWS and other stations do stream the feed at times, I think someone forgets to disconnect the feed. The days of getting content for "free" has been steadily coming to an end.
Free coming to an end is soooooo sad !!! Commercial programming has payed for it all forever so it could be free, but with this newer technology and GREED, no more !!

If you were traveling you could stream so it would be like you were in your home area of local off the air broadcasting, but with GREED, no more !!

With so many alumni throughout the nation and people traveling what was the problem with having the free local radio stations streaming the sporting events on commercial radio via the stream ???

G R E E D

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Old Dec 16, 2012, 02:07 PM   #25
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maybe we will actually get a different radio station in chicago maybe one that actually can listen too and that actually starts the game on time. maybe even a sports station
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