April 26, 2018
The University of Notre Dame athletics department will partner with Legends and JMI Sports — two of the leading athletics marketing and hospitality companies in the country — to oversee Notre Dame’s sales, marketing, hospitality, media rights and branding services on a local and national level.
Through this unique partnership, Notre Dame is determined to become an innovative leader in the packaging and presentation of its game-day hospitality experience, multimedia rights, corporate sponsorship plans and national radio broadcasts.
The announcement made today by University Vice President and James E. Rohr Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick is the culmination of an extensive review and evaluation process that began 18 months ago.
“As we embarked upon this task of finding the best strategic fit for Notre Dame, we made it clear that we were seeking partners who understood the unique opportunities offered by the Notre Dame brand,” Swarbrick said.
“Both Legends and JMI Sports not only demonstrated superior appreciations of our culture and our mission, but also their willingness to creatively pursue features that are 100 percent Notre Dame-centric. Each company has unique and specific strengths to offer, so we asked them to combine those strengths to create something transformational for Notre Dame.
“We believe this partnership recognizes the value of the Notre Dame brand and offers enough creativity and innovation to return significant revenue opportunities for all parties to the agreement. We expect that resulting new initiatives will provide corporate sponsors and Notre Dame fans new, engaging and entertaining ways to connect with our University and its athletic program.”
The University, through this 12-year agreement, will seek to create and implement unique programs and partnerships with an elite group of companies and brands — delivering unprecedented levels of engagement, first-class hospitality experiences and recognition, while also preserving traditions Notre Dame holds dear.
JMI Sports brings extensive multimedia expertise to the partnership with current representation of premier collegiate brands. “Notre Dame approached its analysis with the clear objective of creating an outcome that will maximize the opportunities for its unique brand,” said JMI Sports CEO Erik Judson. “In developing our solution to meet those very high expectations, we believe the combined value proposition offered by a JMI Sports/Legends partnership will exceed those expectations. This partnership will provide extraordinary financial upside while at the same time allowing Notre Dame to maintain control of the most influential and revered brand in college sports.”
Already a partner with Notre Dame since 2013, Legends was an integral part of executing the Campus Crossroads Project, developing capital gift and annual donation pricing models, packaging and marketing strategy, while also executing sales campaigns for new premium seating inventory.
“Our commitment includes building a team of highly qualified sports and sponsorship professionals who have a strong affection and understanding of Notre Dame, its history and its iconic reputation,” said Shervin Mirhashemi, President and CEO of Legends. “In partnership with JMI Sports, we look forward to tapping into the experience and relationships we have built with some of the largest and most well-known brands in sports, media and entertainment to help expand the incredible opportunities available through this partnership.”
Recognizing the uniqueness of their agreement with Notre Dame, Legends and JMI Sports will dedicate stand-alone national, regional and local sales and marketing staff resources to the partnership while tapping into the highly experienced branding, hospitality and experiential marketing teams at both companies.
“The future of college athletics requires vision and innovation — and that’s what we’ve found in this partnership with Legends and JMI Sports,” said Swarbrick. “Their approach to serving an elite group of universities falls right in line with our expectations of a partner.”
The new partnership will include Notre Dame’s national football radio rights, which previously had been a stand-alone agreement for many years with the Mutual Broadcasting System, Westwood One and most recently with ISP and then IMG College.
Notre Dame previously had been handling most of its athletic corporate sponsorships and marketing rights through Notre Dame Sports Properties, created in 2003.
About JMI Sports
JMI Sports is a full-service collegiate marketing firm providing the highest quality management of athletics multimedia rights. By breaking new ground in the creation of the Total Campus Marketing program, JMI Sports maximizes the economic potential of universities. JMI Sports is also a highly regarded project manager for the development of collegiate and professional sports facilities. JMI Sports adds the University of Notre Dame to an impressive list of signature partnerships, including Clemson University, the University of Kentucky, the University of Georgia (with IMG College) as well as the Ivy League, the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University. JMI Sports was founded in 2006 by Judson and technology entrepreneur John Moores, former owner of the San Diego Padres.
As a holistic solution provider in the sports, music and entertainment industry, our visionary approach delivers solutions for legendary brands. Legends is led by industry veterans with an unparalleled amount of collective experience in Global Planning, Global Sales and Hospitality, activating across professional sports, collegiate, attractions, entertainment, international and conventions. We are the architects of premium sports and entertainment guest experiences.
We are proud to serve our distinguished roster of sports, entertainment and attraction clients which consist of thought leaders, iconic brands and events including Yankee Stadium, AT&T Stadium, nearly 40 Live Nation venues, One World Observatory, FC Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Twickenham Stadium, Wimbledon Tennis Championships, Tottenham Hotspur, Golden 1 Center, Manchester City FC, University of Notre Dame, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Rams, Atlanta Falcons, NFL, University of Southern California, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Super Bowl 50 and Indianapolis 500. For more about Legends business and career opportunities, visit www.legends.net.
About Notre Dame Athletics
The University of Notre Dame sponsors 26 varsity athletics programs (13 men’s, 13 women’s), dating back to 1887 when the Irish played their first football game. Notre Dame won its 30th and 31st national championships in 2018 when the Irish claimed the NCAA Fencing Championship and the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship following previous titles in football (11 consensus), fencing (three men, one women, five combined), women’s soccer (three), men’s tennis (two), plus one each in men’s soccer, women’s basketball, men’s golf and men’s cross country. Notre Dame remains an independent in football, but most other Irish sports in 2013-14 began competing in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Notre Dame student-athletes in 2017 recorded the highest NCAA Graduation Success Rate figure (98) among all Football Bowl Subdivision institutions.