In a growing trend in the collegiate sports marketing arena, athletic departments are opting to outsource their marketing functions to full-service agencies in steadily growing numbers. Rather than sell sponsorship, media, and advertising internally, colleges and universities are entering into long-term multimillion dollar deals with companies who have the expertise to market the property to its fullest potential.
These relationships are advantageous because they enhance the core competencies of each party. Athletic departments are able to focus on their student-athletes and the processes necessary to produce first-class athletic events, while having the added reassurance of a guaranteed revenue stream. Through outsourcing, universities also avoid costly taxes. Sports sponsorship revenues are considered an unrelated business; outsourcing to an agency where it is a related business, allows the university to avoid paying unrelated business income taxes (UBIT). Agencies are attractive partners because they are less bureaucratic and thus more nimble in executing the sponsorship logistics (i.e., banner development, premiums). Furthermore, agencies can offer an expert staff with access to resources not readily available to educational institutions. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that so many major colleges and universities have jumped on the outsourcing bandwagon. The major upside for aspiring sports marketers like you is that this means more jobs in athletics!