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GSU athletics extend Learfield contract
Deal handles multimedia rights

Georgia Southern University announced Wednesday that a new 15-year agreement with Learfield Sports for multimedia rights of Georgia Southern athletics had been reached.

Tom Kleinlein, director of athletics for Georgia Southern, said negotiations with Learfield had been ongoing for around a year, culminating in a final approval from the Georgia Board of Regents.

The 15-year deal guarantees at least $11.8 million to Georgia Southern. Additionally, each year will have benchmarks for multimedia sales of Eagle athletics. If and when those marks are met, Georgia Southern will share a 60/40 split of all additional revenue with Learfield.

“We’re very happy to finalize this deal,” Kleinlein said. “We’re also confident that we’ll be able to clear those goals and earn additional revenue on top of the base deal. We’re already on track to surpass that mark for this season.”

Under the terms of the deal, Georgia Southern is guaranteed $600,000 this season. The guaranteed amount will increase throughout the length of the contract, ultimately netting the Eagles around $900,000 per year over the final years of the deal.

The average guarantee per year is around $785,000.

“When I first got to Georgia Southern, our media rights were sold for about $350,000 per year,” Kleinlein said. “This is definitely a step in the right direction, and we expect to surpass our goals and earn that revenue split each season.”

Helping to earn that revenue will be the latest addition to the quickly growing and changing Paulson Stadium.

Also announced Wednesday was the addition of an LED ribbon board. The display will be attached to the middeck on the north stands. The board will be used to display game stats and information, but will also be a huge device for revenue generation.

“We’ll definitely use that space for advertisements,” Kleinlein said. “That sort of advertising can command more than (public address) announcements or signs on the field. It will also free up space from some commercials on our video board.

“Overall, the ribbon board will do a lot to add to the excitement of our games.”

Georgia Southern has selected ANC Sports — a Learfield company — for the production and installation of the ribbon board.
Kleinlein anticipates that the ribbon board will be completed and ready for use when the Eagles play their first home game of the 2015 season Sept. 12 against Western Michigan

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