Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Learfield Sports Acquire Nelligan Sports Marketing

The business of college sports is one of the biggest out there. Growing larger every year, college sports are a multi-billion industry. Though the NCAA is in a predicament right now with many issues, college sport will always be a money-maker and this past week, one of the power players, Learfield Sports made a big move in the world of college sports marketing.

Learfield Sports announced last week that they are acquiring Nelligan Sports Marketing and their rights to 41 collegiate properties. While college sports marketing had been dominated by IMG College and Learfield, TJ Nelligan, who founded Nelligan Sports Marketing found his own niche. Now with the 41 properties previously owned by Nelligan, Learfield has 97 total collegiate properties. Spokesman from each company are very excited about the deal. They believe the schools previously owned by Nelligan will now have more opportunities to grow due to the resources of Learfield. 

I think this was a really interesting acquisition which can lead to possible dominance by Learfield in the future. Not only do they own core multimedia rights, but also own a ticket rights joint venture with IMG College, IMG Learfield Ticket Solutions. They also work with Levy Restaurants to provide colleges with premium concession services. To me it seems as if Learfield Sports is working towards total domination in collegiate athletics and they are on their way. I think the acquisition of Nelligan is a good first step and will help them become dominant in regions of the country where they used to only have a small presence. Going forward, it will be interesting to see if they further their concession business and possibly start to work with a security company as well, especially if they are working with schools in the major conferences. IMG College still ahs a big hold on collegiate multimedia rights, but after this recent acquisition, Learfield Sports might be the new leader and power at the top of college sports business.


Michael Proska is a sophomore at Drexel University from Springfield, PA pursuing a Sport Management degree along with a minor in Statistics. Along with being a writer for the SMTSU blog, The Sports Complex, he has worked at Drexel Athletics and for the Philadelphia 76ers. Michael is also a member of the Army ROTC at Drexel University and the Secretary for the SMTSU.  Follow Michael on Twitter @mikeprosk.

 Connect with Michael Proska on LinkedIn. 

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