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The Southeastern Conference (SEC) Signs SONICĀ®, America's Drive-InĀ®, as Corporate Sponsor

Aug 04, 2010

ATLANTA, Ga., (August 4, 2010) – The Southeastern Conference (SEC) today announced an agreement with SONIC®, America’s Drive-In® (NASDAQ/NM: SONC), as the official drive-in of the SEC and all SEC Championship events. The contract, which was negotiated through SEC Sports Marketing, an IMG College property, will run through June 2013.

Under the terms of the new agreement, SONIC will serve as the exclusive hamburger-based quick serve restaurant (QSR) for the Conference.

By entering into this sponsorship with the SEC, SONIC will receive official corporate sponsor status including category exclusive use of conference logos, marketing rights, SEC television and web presence, event signage, and merchandise. Additionally, the company will have a category exclusive presence at the Dr Pepper SEC FanFare during the Conference’s annual football championship weekend and men’s basketball tournament. These two events, held in conjunction with the respective SEC Championships, draw more than 60,000 SEC fans each year.

“A sponsorship with the SEC makes great business sense for SONIC,” said Danielle Vona, Chief Marketing Officer for SONIC. “Millions of SONIC’s loyal customers are fans of SEC sports, and we look forward to deepening our relationship with them by becoming the Official Drive-In of the SEC.”

For SONIC, aligning with the Conference was a natural extension of the SEC media sponsorship it has had for several years with CBS. More than 1,200 SONIC Drive-Ins, which is more than one-third of the total number in the chain, are located throughout the SEC footprint.

“We are proud to sign a sponsorship agreement with a company like SONIC whose commitment to supporting athletics and education closely parallels the overall mission of the SEC,” said Mike Slive, Commissioner, Southeastern Conference. “We are confident in SONIC’s ability to make a positive impact on our fans and anticipate a long and mutually beneficial relationship.”

With a total fan base of more than 172 million fans, 77 million of which are female fans who influence buying decisions, the college sports market is a an ideal platform for companies like SONIC. The college market’s affluent fan base, with more than 29 million college fans earning more than $100 thousand, and 17 million fans between the ages of 18 – 24, provides a key consumer audience.

SONIC will be able to tap into a share of the college market through this new sponsorship with the SEC.

“SONIC’s tremendous presence in the South deemed it a perfect fit as a sponsor of the Southeastern Conference,” said Lawton Logan, SVP, Collegiate Properties, IMG College. “We thank SONIC for its dedication to college athletics and look forward to continuing to provide the very best to SEC fans throughout the country.”

About IMG College
IMG College is the leader in capturing consumer devotion to college sports through partnership opportunities in licensing, marketing, events and hospitality, multimedia rights, stadium and arena development, sales, and consulting across local, regional, and national platforms. IMG College partners with the nation’s top collegiate brands, including the NCAA and its 88 championships, NCAA Football, leading conferences, and some of the most prestigious universities in the country. IMG College is a division of IMG Worldwide, the world’s premier sports, media, and entertainment company. For more information, please visit www.imgworld.com.

About the Southeastern Conference (SEC)
The Southeastern Conference was formed in 1933 and consists of 12 member institutions: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Tennessee and Vanderbilt. The league currently sanctions championship play in nine men's sports and 11 women's sports. Its headquarters has been located in Birmingham, Ala., since 1948. For more on the conference, visit www.secsports.com.

About SONIC, America’s Drive-In (NASDAQ/NM: SONC)
SONIC, America’s Drive-In (NASDAQ/NM: SONC) started as a hamburger and root beer stand in 1953 in Shawnee, Okla., called Top Hat Drive-In, and then changed its name to SONIC in 1959. The first drive-in to adopt the SONIC name is still serving customers in Stillwater, Okla. As the nation’s largest chain of drive-in restaurants, SONIC has more than 3,500 drive-ins coast to coast and serves approximately 3 million customers every day. With more drink combinations than any other quick-service restaurant – more than 168,000 – SONIC is Your Ultimate Drink Stop®. Through Limeades for Learning®, SONIC and its franchise partners have donated more than $638,000 dollars to public school classrooms in local communities across the country. Visit www.limeadesforlearning.com to learn more about SONIC’s commitment to education. For more information about Sonic Corp. and its subsidiaries, visit SONIC at www.sonicdrivein.com.