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Utah just made a huge multimedia rights change. Here's why:

Utah's move to JMI may be about more than one deal and one vendor

Good morning, and thanks for your continued support of Extra Points.

Just about every college athletic department has a handful of critically important contracts. For the largest schools, the most financially lucrative contract is the conference media deal. Just about everybody else will have a major apparel and equipment contract, a travel contract, a pouring rights agreement (Coke or Pepsi?), NIL software, and a few others.

But beyond television, for many schools, the most important partnership is with a school and their multimedia rights partner, or MMR partner. These companies do everything from sell signage in stadiums, to handle radio broadcast rights, to intellectual property licensing, and more. While some schools do elect to sell their MMR rights themselves, most schools partner with another company, like Van Wagner, Playfly, JMI Sports, or Learfield.

Just like with apparel and broadcast companies, MMR contracts are generally longer-term deals, and schools don’t tend to hit free agency all that often.

JMI Sports isn’t one of the biggest players in this space. While the company does work with some major brands, like Kentucky, Georgia, and Pitt, the bulk of their current college partners are smaller conferences (Ivy, A10, MWC, Patriot) or smaller programs like Penn, Columbia, DePaul or San Diego State. Outside the Mountain West, the company does not do extensive work with other collegiate brands in the intermountain west.

So why make this move, now? Why would JMI Sports want this partnership? And what can it tell us about where college sports might be going?

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