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ECU reaches wide-ranging deal with ISP Sports

From staff reports and an ECU Athletics release.

East Carolina's athletic department has secured itself an annual rights fee and expects to see a boost in the marketing of its multimedia properties with the inking of a significant pact with ISP Sports.

The Winston-Salem company, which bills itself as "America's leader in the collegiate sports marketing arena," will gain exclusive rights to an extensive array of mediums associated with ECU athletics when the agreement goes into effect this coming July 1, the school indicated in a Tuesday press release.

"This agreement signals a new day in ECU Athletics and provides us with opportunities that we have not had before," ECU athletic director Terry Holland said in a statement. "I have the highest personal and professional respect for Ben Sutton and the team he has built at ISP."

Sutton is the president and chairman of the board of ISP Sports, which is already aligned with the athletics programs of 27 other schools, including Conference USA members Central Florida, Houston, Marshall, Southern Mississippi, Tulane and UAB.

"... There has always been tremendous enthusiasm and support surrounding Pirate Athletics, and now with the leadership of Terry Holland and the administrative team he is building, the future of the overall program is extremely bright," state Sutton. "We are excited to be a part of that future."

Other programs of regional interest with ties to ISP include Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Miami, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest, according to the company's Website (

Key points of the new ECU-ISP Sports arrangement:

  • Guarantees the university an annual rights fee plus additional considerations based upon revenue generated by ISP.

  • Encompasses all sales and marketing opportunities associated with ECU sports, including radio and television programming, game programs and other athletics publications, signage in all campus athletic venues, and at-event corporate promotions and hospitality functions.

  • A three-person marketing staff with offices at the university will be responsible for sales under the partnership. The group will be headed by Meghan Molnar, former general manager of the ISP sales team at Vanderbilt. She will be joined by Craig Curtis, current assistant athletics director for marketing at ECU, and a third person to be named later.

  • The agreement calls for the creation of a director of external operations position within the athletics department, a job that will be funded by the ISP agreement. That person will oversee the development of the new relationship and coordinate activities involving ISP Sports with areas such as fund-raising, ticketing, media relations and promotions.

"... The partnership greatly increases the focus on the marketing of ECU and ECU Athletics since the ISP agreement will provide the funding for five total positions," stated Holland.

Holland indicated that — in addition to the three-person ISP marketing staff and the new director of external operations — the position of Jeff Charles will also be funded under the agreement. Charles is the longtime 'Voice of the Pirates.'

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02/23/2007 11:43:06 AM


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