America's Home for College Sports


Aug 19, 2014

Winston-Salem, N.C. (August 20, 2014) – IMG has partnered with University of North Carolina-Asheville to launch a new college revenue development service platform.  The offering combines sponsorship marketing and fundraising for the university within a single function that will be managed by IMG. This is the first time a major university has privatized and combined development with sponsorship sales.

As part of the multi-year agreement, IMG will spearhead the university’s $5.75 million capital campaign, helping to build sports facilities including a new soccer field, as well as supervise the school’s annual “Bulldog Club” fund. IMG will manage all corporate sponsorship sales for the university and will supplement current school ticket sales by emphasizing group sales.

Kelly Schukart has been named general manager of the operation; Schukart joins IMG from University of California, Berkeley where she was Director of Development, Cal Athletics.  Previously she was responsible for development at the University of Oregon’s College of Arts and Sciences.

“UNC Asheville's strategic plan focuses on ‘more wins, more friends, and more resources.’ Our partnership with IMG College hits the target on all three of our initiatives," said Janet R. Cone, UNC Asheville’s Senior Administrator for University Enterprises and Director of Athletics. “IMG is a proven winner in managing corporate partnerships and multimedia rights. We are equally excited to partner with IMG to improve and grow our annual giving fund and assist with our athletics capital campaign. With their expertise and support, together we will be able to engage more friends and increase revenue for Bulldog Athletics.”
“I believe this new fundraising concept has strong potential to influence and help impact the future bottom line for our university partners,” said Ben Sutton Jr., chairman and president of IMG College. “Mark Dyer and I have been refining this concept for a while, and we believe Mike Wolfert is the ideal executive to lead the effort in our business ventures division, blazing an exciting new trail with UNC-Asheville.”

“After fully developing our fundraising concept, we’ve found the right launch partner with UNC-Asheville and Janet Cone as well as the ideal executive in Kelly Schukart to lead the effort,” said Mark Dyer, SVP business ventures for IMG College. “The university and its surrounding community are progressive, and Janet is a true innovator in college sports. This is a tremendous opportunity for IMG.”

“Fundraising works best when embedded in the school’s outreach to businesses, alumni, and fans,” said Mike Wolfert, vice president, revenue solutions for IMG College. “Season ticket holders typically comprise a school’s biggest donor group. Local businesses supporting athletics have a strong interest in tickets and philanthropy. We’ve bundling these services to be the most efficient and effective solution for schools to reduce their costs and grow revenue.”

About UNC Asheville
UNC Asheville is the only dedicated liberal arts institution in the University of North Carolina system, offering students through 30 different majors an intellectually rigorous education that builds critical thinking and workforce skills to last a lifetime. Small class size, award-winning faculty and a nationally acclaimed undergraduate research program foster innovation as well as recognition. Amid the culturally rich setting of Asheville, North Carolina, in the Blue Ridge Mountains approximately 3,700 undergraduate students and about 330 full- and part-time faculty bring the campus alive with a genuine hunger to understand and contribute to the human experience.

About IMG
IMG is a global leader in sports, fashion and media operating in more than 30 countries around the world. IMG’s businesses include Events & Media, College, Golf, Tennis, Performance and IMG Academy, Fashion, Models, Clients, Consulting, Licensing, Joint Ventures, and creative management agency Art + Commerce. In 2014, IMG was acquired by WME, the world’s leading entertainment and media agency. Together, the companies offer an unparalleled client roster; world-class partnerships with sponsors, brands and broadcasters; and marquee assets across entertainment, events and fashion.