CBS College Sports has landed the rights to produce and sell advertising for the official athletic Web site for the University of Michigan, MGoBlue.com, through a pact with the local college marketing and licensing company IMG College.
According to officials, by landing Michigan’s site, CBS College Sports now handles over 200 official NCAA sites, including 70 percent of the schools that make up the BCS (Bowl Championship Series), which is comprised of the majority of the top college sports programs in the country. According to Rob Schupler, CBS’ senior vp, university sales and marketing, besides Michigan CBS has landed similar deals with the University of Arizona, the University of Connecticut, the University of Kentucky, the University of Texas and the University of Tennessee.
“Plus, we’ve had nearly 100 percent retention,” said Schupler. “These schools look at us as trusted partners who protect their equity and are stewards for their brands. They know CBS is committed to college sports.”
Schupler said that CBS helps its university partners earn revenue on the Web through advertising, ecommerce and trusted products—such as access to live games for displaced alumni. The ten year old network of sites—which was originally known as the Official College Sports Network (OCSN) became part of the CBS family when the company acquired CSTV in 2005.
Advertising-wise, the network has run sponsorships for brands like General Motors, Pontiac, Coke and AT&T. And while the company won’t reveal specific dollar amounts, despite the economic downturn (which has particularly struck the autos category), “Business has been OK,” said Eric Krasnoo, vp of sales for the network. In fact, General Motors and Pontiac are still advertising. “We work with mostly Fortune 500 brands..and we can compete with the top sports sites like ESPN.com. Nobody else can put you on the homepage of these top schools.”