IMG’s Splash on the College Sports Scene

A recent USA Today article detailed IMG’s quick rise as a market leader in college sports media and licensing after entering the market in May, 2007 when it purchased Collegiate Licensing. Collegiate Licensing’s clients, which include the NCAA, “are responsible for 75% of the estimated $4.3 billion in annual retail sales of college sports merchandise.” This acquisition was followed by another $560 million investment to acquire multimedia rights for its growing list of university partners. This list includes Ohio State University after signing them to the largest annual average guarantee ever for a college’s multimedia rights — $110 million over 10 years. The article also explores the possible conflicts of interest now that “IMG represents the NCAA, schools, college coaches, pro tennis players and golfers and manages select team-sport athletes’ marketing rights.”