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College Athletics Sponsorship Spending Reaches $1.1 Billion

MediaPost, September 03, 2015

By Steve McClellan

Sponsorship spending on college Athletics totaled $1.1 billion in the 2014-15 season, up 6% from the previous season, according to new research from IEG, part of WPP’s ESP Properties.

According to the research, the gain was achieved in part due to opportunities that developed with the College Football Playoff scheme that debuted last year.

Among the so-called “Power Five Conferences” the Southeastern Conference captured the largest share of sponsorship revenue (27%) followed by the Big 10 Conference (22%).

Not surprisingly sports apparel and equipment companies constituted the top spending sponsorship category, followed by insurance, telecom, soft drink, banking, restaurants and auto.

Nike was the single biggest spending brand, followed by AT&T, Adidas, Coca-Cola and Allstate Insurance.

Notre Dame generated more sponsorship revenue than any other single university, earning 3.2 times more revenue than the average Power Five School.

William Chipps, senior editor of the IEG Sponsorship Report, said that college sports sponsorships appeal to marketers because they want “platforms that provide broad reach, local touchpoints and affluent audiences.”

More information from IEG’s research report can be found here.