Contact: Mary Margaret Colliver
“As a self-supporting unit of the university, the multimedia rights are an important part of our ability to generate revenue,”
- Rick Thompson,
UK associate athletic director for marketing
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 9, 2004) -- The University of Kentucky Purchasing Division has issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) on behalf of the university’s Athletic Department for expanded multimedia marketing rights.
Host Communications, a subsidiary of the Atlanta-based Bull Run Corporation, has been UK’s rights holder since 1974 except for a three-year period in the 1980s. The current agreement, which includes radio and TV rights to Kentucky’s football and men’s basketball games, is worth $17.65 million for five years and expires April 15, 2005 .
In addition to radio and TV rights to UK football and men’s basketball games, the new RFP adds rights to women’s basketball and baseball radio broadcasts, corporate sponsorships, stadium and arena signage, football game programs, and the official athletic Web site. The only exception is men’s basketball arena signage, which is controlled by Lexington Center Corporation.
In the past, the awarding of multimedia rights at UK has been handled through a bid process. By working closely with the Purchasing Division, it was decided that an RFP would be more beneficial because in addition to asking for a competitive financial offer, the university is requesting a plan for maximizing the UK sports product.
“As a self-supporting unit of the university, the multimedia rights are an important part of our ability to generate revenue,” UK associate athletic director for marketing Rick Thompson said.
Thompson assures fans that a key component to awarding the rights will be looking after the fans’ best interest.
“The overriding criteria in choosing a multimedia rights holder will be what best benefits UK and its loyal fans. The fans will continue to receive Wildcat athletics through one of the nation’s best and most comprehensive radio and TV networks.”
The deadline for written proposals from prospective bidders is August 11, with a contract to be awarded in mid to late September.