Notre Dame Signs 12-Year Deal With Agencies To Boost Brand, Marketing, Media
Thursday, April 26, 2018 at 03:12PM in College, JMI Sports, Legends, Notre Dame, sports marketing, sports media

NYSJ Sports-Entertainment Business News Service

April 26, 2018: Notre Dame, which has one of the most recognized education and athletic programs in the world, plans to take the value of its brand to the next level.

The University of Notre Dame athletics department has signed 12-year deals with hospitality firm Legends and JMI Sports to work together to oversee Notre Dame's sales, marketing, hospitality, media rights and branding services on a local and national level.

"We believe this partnership recognizes the value of the Notre Dame brand and offers enough creativity and innovation to return significant revenue opportunities for all parties to the agreement,” Jack Swarbrick, Notre Dame vp, said in a statement.

“We expect that resulting new initiatives will provide corporate sponsors and Notre Dame fans new, engaging and entertaining ways to connect with our University and its athletic program."

With these alliances, Notre Dame said it is “determined to become an innovative leader in the packaging and presentation of its game-day hospitality experience, multi-media rights, corporate sponsorship plans and national radio broadcasts.

Notre Dame said that, through this 12-year agreement, it would “seek to create and implement unique programs and partnerships with an elite group of companies and brands — delivering unprecedented levels of engagement, first-class hospitality experiences and recognition, while also preserving traditions Notre Dame holds dear.”

Financial terms of the pacts were not shared.

The new alliance includes Notre Dame's national football radio rights, which previously had been a stand-alone agreement with the Mutual Broadcasting System, Westwood One and most recently with ISP and then IMG College.

Notre Dame previously had been handling much of its athletic corporate sponsorships and marketing rights through Notre Dame Sports Properties, created in 2003.

The University of Notre Dame sponsors 26 varsity athletics programs (13 men's, 13 women's), dating back to 1887.

Notre Dame student-athletes in 2017 recorded the highest NCAA graduation success rate figure (98) among all Football Bowl Subdivision institutions, according to the University.

JMI Sports is a full-service collegiate marketing firm whose roster includes Clemson, Kentucky, Georgia (with IMG College) as well as the Ivy League, Pennsylvania and Columbia University.

Legends, founded by the New York Yankees and Dallas Cowboys, has worked with Notre Dame since 2013.

Its client roster also includes the NFL, Yankee Stadium, AT&T Stadium, nearly 40 Live Nation venues, FC Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Twickenham Stadium, the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, Oakland Raiders, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Rams, Los Angeles Chargers and Atlanta Falcons.

"As we embarked upon this task of finding the best strategic fit for Notre Dame (18 months ago), we made it clear that we were seeking partners who understood the unique opportunities offered by the Notre Dame brand,"  said Swarbrick.

"Both Legends and JMI Sports not only demonstrated superior appreciations of our culture and our mission, but also their willingness to creatively pursue features that are 100% Notre Dame-centric.”

"Notre Dame approached its analysis with the clear objective of creating an outcome that will maximize the opportunities for its unique brand," JMI Sports CEO Erik Judson said in a statement.

"This partnership recognizes the value of the Notre Dame brand and offers enough creativity and innovation to return significant revenue opportunities for all parties."

"In developing our solution to meet those very high expectations, we believe the combined value proposition offered by a JMI Sports/Legends partnership will exceed those expectations. This partnership will provide extraordinary financial upside while at the same time allowing Notre Dame to maintain control of the most influential and revered brand in college sports,” said Judson.

According to Swarbrick, “"The future of college athletics requires vision and innovation — and that's what we've found in this partnership with Legends and JMI Sports. Their approach to serving an elite group of universities falls right in line with our expectations of a partner.

“Each company has unique and specific strengths to offer, so we asked them to combine those strengths to create something transformational for Notre Dame.”

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