UPS teams up with IMG to sponsor college sports

By Freddie Pierce
College football begins in earnest this week, highlighted by big-time matchups like No. 3 Oregon vs. No. 4 LSU and No. 5 Boise State at No. 19 Georgia...

College football begins in earnest this week, highlighted by big-time matchups like No. 3 Oregon vs. No. 4 LSU and No. 5 Boise State at No. 19 Georgia. The minds that run college football are excited about something other than the start of the season, however.

IMG created the first national marketing platform in college athletics, and it was revealed that United Parcel Service will be the first to take advantage of it. The big brown trucks we’ve all grown accustomed to around the world will be in charge of logistics, package-delivery and retail shipping service for 68 schools.

The deal also includes radio and television advertising during IMG broadcasts of football and men’s basketball and ads in programs and on college athletics’ websites.

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“Big brands like UPS are realizing the attractiveness of the largest, most affluent, best-educated fan base in sports,” IMG VP of Strategic Communications Andrew Giangola told Forbes. “These fans have a special, intense passion for their alma mater and favorite teams, which makes collegiate marketing so sports.”

The IMG and UPS deal is also believed to be the largest “non-network TV sponsorship in the history of college sports,” George Pyne, President of Sports and Entertainment at IMG Worldwide told Forbes.

“College sports provides a compelling communications platform to share the message that whether you’re a small business owner or a championship football coach, UPS’ master of logistics can help you succeed,” UPS VP of Sponsorships and Events said of the IMG deal.

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