You might not have noticed it if you live outside the Commonwealth, but earlier this week, Kentucky announced that they have agreed to sell their athletics and campus multimedia rights to JMI Sports.
The terms of that deal?
$210 million over the next 15 years, which works out to an average of $14 million over the course of the contract, which will go into effect in 2015-2016. It’s one of the five highest in college sports, and it includes a $29.4 million signing bonus.
That’s a lot of scratch, especially when you consider that Kentucky cannot sell their television rights. Those are part of the SEC’s broadcast deal.
So what are they selling? The Louisville Courier-Journal explains:
The new deal with JMI Sports includes radio rights to UK football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball and baseball games; stadium and arena corporate signage and game programs for all home events other than at Rupp Arena; naming rights to university athletics facilities and premium areas; sponsorship on UKathletics.com; game sponsorship and promotions; coaches endorsements; pregame and postgame television shows and specials and postseason highlight DVDS and video features on video boards other than at Rupp.
More interestingly, however, is this note from that Courier-Journal story:
JMI Sports’ proposal to raise UK’s profile — and bottom line — includes some grand plans. One of the most interesting: “Recapture much of the audience that has been lost to bloggers, other websites and media personalities … and, of course, we want to fully monetize these efforts.”
It’s not a secret that Big Blue Nation is the most powerful force in college basketball when it comes to online traffic. That’s why there are so many Kentucky fan sites, most notably Kentucky Sports Radio. Is the Kentucky athletic department looking to tap into that money stream?
UConn commit Juwan Durham, a four-star big man in the Class of 2016, has torn the ACL in his right knee for the second time in seven months. The Florida native committed to the Huskies and head coach Kevin Ollie back in September. The 6-foot-9 forward is regarded as the No. 31 overall prospect in the national Class of 2016, so he can really be a force when he’s healthy.
In a report from Tampabay.com’s Bob Putnam, UConn was notified of the injury immediately and there is no change in plans with the commitment. The Huskies also own commitments from four-star point guard Alterique Gilbert and three-star power forward Mamadou Diarra in the Class of 2016. Having Diarra, an active, rim-protecting presence, helps with Durham’s recovery, since he can provide some more front court depth.
If Durham rehabs back to full speed, UConn has a very talented power forward who was just hitting his stride in the Florida state playoffs last February. UConn has a nice class so far with this group, especially if Durham can recover, With a year to recover until next season, Durham can hopefully play during his freshman season in 2016.
Arizona State fans won’t get a chance to see Torian Graham take the floor this season, but he did sky over fellow teammates (and transfer) Shannon Evans on Friday night at the team’s Maroon and Gold Madness. The 6-foot-4 Graham is a former Buffalo commit — Evans also came from Buffalo — and both players will have to sit out the 2015-16 season due to NCAA transfer regulations.
Graham hasn’t had a chance to get into a Division I game, but he’ll be able to play for the Sun Devils next season. For now, fans can look forward to Graham’s athleticism on the wing in pregame dunk routines.
A former top-100 prospect, Graham also pulled off this ridiculous move in the dunk contest.