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Believe the Hype: IMG College National Platform Delivers for UPS
At 68 schools, UPS will enjoy category exclusivity for all marketing and promotional rights in the shipping, freight and logistics category
Aug 30, 2011

Marketing and PR can sometimes be a business of hype - sizzle trumping the steak.

Not here.  As UPS becomes the first brand to take advantage of the new national platform in college sports, words like "unprecedented," "groundbreaking" and "historic" are appros po.

The sponsorship platform built by IMG College includes intellectual property rights at universities coast to coast, media opportunities, and abundant local marketing activation, giving UPS an unprecedented opportunity to reach the largest, best educated and most affluent fan base in sports.
"This is a big deal because we have made a significant investment in college sports, and the idea behind this was to go to corporations and offer them a product in 49 of the top 50 U.S. markets with one buy," George Pyne, President of Sports and Entertainment at IMG Worldwide said in an interview on Bloomberg TV. "That's what's unique, that's what's different and, frankly, transformational. For the colleges, it's great. For the advertisers, it's a very efficient, one-time buy at a value that can't be matched anywhere in sports."

"This is truly an historic announcement in the annals of sports marketing," said Ben Sutton, President of IMG College. "We believe this is the largest non-network TV sponsorship in the history of college sports, reaching fans coast to coast.   We're confident UPS will be the first of many national brands to capture the pride and passion of college sports through this new national marketing opportunity."

At 68 schools, UPS will enjoy category exclusivity for all marketing and promotional rights in the shipping, freight and logistics category.  UPS will become the official logistics, package-delivery and retail shipping services company in all forms of sponsor recognition related to the schools, including on-campus, in-stadium, licensing, and broadcast, print and web outlets.

The agreement includes radio and TV advertising during IMG broadcasts of football and men's basketball coaches shows as well as in the play-by-play radio coverage; stadium and area signage; and ads in game-day publications and on the school's official athletic web sites.

IMG College will partner with UPS to create experiential opportunities based on unique on-field and on-court access at select IMG College partner schools. Additionally, on behalf of UPS, IMG College will implement a brand ambassador program with luminaries such as coaching legends through its talent and multimedia relationships.

"UPS is extremely excited to add IMG College, the premier college sports marketing organization, to our sponsorship portfolio," said Ron Rogowski, UPS vice president, sponsorships & events.  "We're extending our college sports presence to the full collegiate landscape--on campus, through alumni associations, and the athletic programs reaching 172 million college sports fans across the country."

The making of this landmark deal is in itself a story of relationship-based selling.

Jim Pyne, VP of national sales, who has an Atlanta office, invited UPS CEO Scott Davis to the BCS game this past fall.  "Scott is a big Oregon fan, and we talked football the whole game with his wife and two grandkids," Pyne said.

Pyne, who played center for the Lions in 1998 and was on the front end of UPS's NCAA and SEC deals following a cold call three years ago, followed up and went to dinner with UPS executives several times in Atlanta.   The world's largest package delivery and logistics company wound up committing to the biggest non-network TV sponsorship in the history of college sports, putting IMG College on the map for good.