IMG Buying College Sports Media Rights Company

DETROIT (Reuters) – Sports, entertainment and media company IMG said on Wednesday that it would acquire a U.S. college sports media rights management company to bolster that part of its business.

IMG did not disclose the terms of the deal for ISP Sports, which it would combine with existing operations to create a unit with annual sales of more than $400 million and more than 700 employees.

“This acquisition will complement our existing college business, which is an increasingly significant part of IMG,” IMG Chief Executive Officer Ted Forstmann said in a statement.

Based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, ISP has marketing deals with some of best-known college athletic programs, including Alabama, Duke, Notre Dame and UCLA. It also has deals with conferences, events and venues across the country.

ISP, which employs more than 275 people, will be combined with IMG’s existing college sports group, which provides marketing, licensing and media services to universities.

IMG College manages multimedia rights for colleges and collegiate athletic conferences, including corporate sponsorships, radio and TV programs, Internet, national advertising and signage sales.

The unit, which was created by the acquisitions of Collegiate Licensing Co in 2007 and Host Communications in 2008, also handles licensing and is involved in the stadium financing and seating businesses through its IMG Legends venture with the New York Yankees baseball and Dallas Cowboys football teams.

ISP founder and Chief Executive Officer Ben Sutton Jr. will become president of the newly combined business, which will be based in Winston-Salem. (Reporting by Ben Klayman; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)