Ohio State Athletics Signs Largest Multi-Media Deal In College Sports History

Kristofer GreenSenior Writer IMarch 31, 2009

The largest university with the biggest athletic department, has just signed the most lucrative multi-media deal in college sports history.

Ohio State announced Monday that it had reached a deal with IMG College and RadiOhio that would pay the University $128 million ($110 million guaranteed) over the next 10 years for exclusive publishing and radio rights for all 36 varsity sports programs.

IMG and RadiOhio currently have deals with OSU that collectively guarantee a little more than $3 million a year.

Under the new deal, which guarantees an average of $11 million per year, the two companies will manage and market all rights associated with publishing, game play-by-play, and coaches' shows on radio, and coaches' television shows that aren't included in the school's contracts with the Big Ten Conference or the NCAA. 

The agreement also includes corporate sponsorships, signs, on-site marketing, and coaches' endorsements—but does not include OSU's trademark licensing revenue, nor does it affect the department's agreements with Nike, Gatorade, Coke, and Bank of America.

"We're solidifying our long-term financial stability through this revenue stream," OSU Athletics Director Gene Smith told the Columbus Dispatch.

Smith also said fans won't notice much difference, save for a LED ribbon board, an electronic messaging device for advertisers, likely to be installed in Ohio Stadium.