In a move intended to help grow Pitt’s brand among its 19 sports in terms of what matters in big-time college athletics — corporate sponsorships and multimedia rights — the university’s athletic department signed a long-term deal Thursday with JMI Sports, a collegiate marketing firm.
The new agreement is set to begin July 1, the day after Pitt’s contract with IMG College, which has managed Pitt’s marketing rights for the past 10 years, is due to expire. IMG College finalized a merger with Learfield in December to become Learfield IMG College.
Pitt’s new partnership with JMI will seek to get the most bang for the buck from Pitt’s various multimedia assets and also help develop relationships to help create corporate sponsorships and advertising; radio and television broadcasts; coaches’ shows and endorsements; website and social media; game programs and publications; in-game production and hospitality; and signage and naming rights.
“From our very first conversations, it was evident how strongly JMI Sports valued and prioritized the opportunity to work with the University of Pittsburgh,” athletic director Heather Lyke said in a statement. “We have a shared vision about the strength of the Pitt brand and how we can maximize that brand well beyond the athletic arena.”
“Pitt is a very powerful brand in a great market that fits perfectly with our highly customized approach for delivering integrated marketing solutions to iconic brands and universities,” JMI Sports CEO Erik Judson said.
Pitt will join Clemson, Kentucky, Georgia and Columbia, plus the Ivy League and the University of Pennsylvania, as JMI Sports clients.