Retailer Extends CBS Sports Pact

ATLANTA Home Depot today said that it has signed a three-year extension with CBS Sports as the title sponsor of the network’s Southeastern Conference college football broadcasts through 2005.

The Atlanta-based home improvement retailer has sponsored SEC football games on CBS for the past four years. The official name of the weekly broadcasts will be “The Home Depot SEC College Football on CBS.”

The agreement provides Home Depot with branded graphics throughout the broadcasts, commercial spots and billboards.

Media buying is handled by Interpublic Group’s Initiative Media in Atlanta. The Richards Group in Dallas, which handles Home Depot advertising, will work with CBS to create graphics for the sponsorship.

Spending details were undisclosed. In 2002, Home Depot spent $18 million in weekend sports-related media on all network TV broadcasts, per TNS Media Intelligence/CMR

“This sponsorship extension with CBS Sports aligns The Home Depot with a long-standing broadcast leader in college football and one of the premier college football conferences in the country,” said John Costello, client executive vice president of marketing, in a statement. “We want people to link The Home Depot brand with their weekend activities, including the long-standing tradition of college football.”

CBS Sports has scheduled 18 SEC football telecasts in 2003. All games will be broadcast nationally.

In addition to its SEC football pact with CBS, Home Depot currently buys advertising on CBS for National Collegiate Athletic Association basketball games and Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) for college football. The retailer also has signed a comprehensive presenting sponsorship with ESPN’s “College Game Day.”