When St. Thomas makes its historic jump to Division I athletics this fall, one of the biggest names in college sports marketing will be there to boost the university’s profile as the Tommies find new business opportunities.

In a first-of-its-kind partnership with sports marketing, media, and technology services company Learfield IMG College, St. Thomas will increase its name recognition on and off the field. Announced today, the agreement will cover ticketing, sales, licensing and multimedia rights through the company’s suite of services in these areas. While these business functions are often handled as separate agreements, Learfield will integrate them for St. Thomas to produce unique revenue-generating opportunities.

“Division I intercollegiate athletics offers a complex business model, and Learfield IMG College understands the intricacies of this entire industry like no one else,” said Phil Esten, St. Thomas vice president and director of athletics. “There is no better partner to help us seize the opportunities that will be available as we make a historic transition.”

The partnership will allow St. Thomas to deliver expanded licensing opportunities through merchandise options, as well as an enhanced approach to constituent engagement and service through outbound ticket sales, digital ticketing options, and other key marketing functions. It also covers work with SIDEARM Sports (which already provides the Tommies’ official athletics website and Tommie Sports App) as well as a proprietary data and analytics platform used by more than 90 D-I programs to help engage fans and drive revenue.

The agreement is an important step for the Tommies, who on July 1 will officially become the first program in the modern NCAA era to transition all of its sports directly from D-III to D-I. Next fall, St. Thomas will compete in the Summit League for the vast majority of its varsity sports, as well as the Pioneer Football League, the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) women’s league, and the newly-reformed Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA).

“We’re excited to bring the Tommies into our portfolio of great college brands we have the privilege to represent, particularly on the cusp of a major milestone move for the university,” said Learfield IMG College President and CEO Cole Gahagan.

Learfield IMG College represents some of the NCAA’s most notable programs, including more than 200 universities through multimedia rights, sales and trademark licensing.

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