Nov. 17, 2006 — Virginia Athletics Director Craig Littlepage announced today the athletics department has signed a 10-year, $29 million multimedia rights agreement with CBS Collegiate Sports Properties. The agreement calls for CBS Collegiate Sports Properties to manage the department’s corporate sponsorship program.
The agreement has an option for an additional five years that would increase the compensation figure to $46 million. If annual gross revenues reach predetermined thresholds, the department will receive additional compensation.
There is also a capital projects commitment in the agreement. CBS Collegiate Sports Properties is required to make capital commitments to the athletics department of $4.2 million over 10 years and $6.3 million over 15 years if the agreement is extended. The capital commitment includes new video boards at Klöckner Stadium, Davenport Field at the UVa Baseball Stadium and at the Carl Smith Center, home of David A. Harrison III Field at Scott Stadium, by 2009.
“We are excited that the effort to secure a long-term marketing rights partner has reached a successful conclusion,” Littlepage said. “Our number one priority was to secure a partner who would enhance our efforts to reach the department’s 10-year goals. CBS Collegiate Sports Properties has been a great partner for the athletics department and they have represented our interests effectively for more than eight years. Although we received a number of favorable proposals from marketing rights firms, we ultimately decided that CBS Collegiate Sports Properties is the best partner for the University of Virginia.”
“We’ve established a terrific relationship with Virginia and we’re thrilled that our partnership will continue,” said Doug Paschal, Vice President and General Manager of CBS Collegiate Sports Properties. “Virginia always has been receptive to our ideas and initiatives, which has made it one of our most ambitious and successful programs to date. With its strong, nationally-recognized athletics program, Virginia is an impressive member of our family of properties.”
CBS Collegiate Sports Properties, previously known as Viacom Sports, has been the Virginia athletics department’s marketing rights partner since 1998.
“This was not simply an exercise in securing a huge financial guarantee for the department,” said Virginia Executive Associate Director of Athletics Jon Oliver. “The priority was to move forward with a partner that understood our culture and long-term goals. CBS Collegiate Sports Properties has hit the ground running with the opening of the John Paul Jones Arena and has added inventory across a number of mediums. At the end of the day, we were confident that CBS Collegiate Sports Properties was the best fit.”
Under the terms of the agreement, CBS Collegiate Sports Properties is responsible for generating sponsorship revenue through a variety of media outlets, including radio, television, in-venue signage, Internet, video promotions, game day programs, roster cards, posters, schedule cards and corporate hospitality functions.
The negotiation process was lengthy, but according to Oliver it was important to take the time to consider all the details and get things right.
“I believe whenever you pursue long-term business relationships, it’s important to understand you’re really engaging in an exercise in stewardship,” Oliver said. “This agreement will last for a minimum of 10 years with the potential for a total of 15 years. We were comfortable taking our time to get this right and to make sure that all of the details were covered in order to make this a mutually beneficial relationship.”
The capital projects commitment made by CBS Collegiate Sports Properties was an important part of the agreement.
“Our approach to facilities has changed dramatically and fan enjoyment is an important part of our approach,” Oliver explained. “We will now have video capability at four of our athletics venues. That is very exciting from a fan interaction perspective.”