University of Kentucky signs 15-year, $210 million multimedia rights deal

Not only are universities getting richer and richer from national television contracts, now school-based multimedia deals are starting to make them crazy amounts of money.

The Kentucky Wildcats reached an agreement with JMI Sports for a 15-year, $210 million multimedia rights deal. The contract begins in 2015 and guarantees UK athletics at least $14 million per season. It’s reportedly one of the most lucrative in college athletics ever, and apparently also included a big signing bonus of $29.4 million.

The Wildcats’ previous media rights deal was a mere $80.5 million over 10 years, which means the figure nearly double. This, despite the fact that under the SEC’s new television contract, they won’t be able to sell any of their football or basketball games to any company. The prominent features of this rights agreement are radio rights to Kentucky football, men’s and women’s basketball, and baseball.

JMI Sports will also get a heavy advertising presence at university events, naming rights to university properties, coach endorsements, game sponsorships and promotions, pre- and post-game shows, and perhaps most interestingly, “the potential, at the university’s discretion, to market multimedia rights in nonathletic campus facilities.” Just picture it, going into your freshman psych class sponsored by Kentucky Wildcats football on JMI Sports! The future is something else.

Steve Lepore

About Steve Lepore

Steve Lepore is a writer for Bloguin and a correspondent for SiriusXM NHL Network Radio.