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Learfield Sports Links Up with Directors' Cup in Multi-year Deal

Aug. 27, 2008

Cleveland, Ohio – The esteemed Directors’ Cup moves forward with a new title sponsor this fall – Learfield Sports – as officially announced today by USA Today and the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA). What began as a joint initiative between USA Today and NACDA in 1993 has grown into a highly recognized mark of distinction among collegiate institutions through a point system that awards a respective institution points based on its national finish in an NCAA or NAIA championship.

The Directors’ Cup now will share an affiliation with Learfield Sports, a leader in the collegiate sports marketplace for almost 40 years. The company manages the multimedia and sponsorship rights for nearly 50 collegiate institutions such as Oklahoma, Penn State, North Carolina, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Alabama, Purdue, Indiana, Miami (Fla.) and Stanford, which has been awarded the Directors’ Cup trophy for 14 consecutive years. The company also manages corporate partner programs for the Big Ten Conference and the Western Athletic Conference and shares an extensive relationship with the Black Coaches & Administrators (BCA) by managing the organization’s marketing partnerships.

"Learfield Sports is a natural fit to have the Directors’ Cup entitlement, and we’re glad to be affiliated with them,” said NACDA President Joan Cronan, women’s athletics director at the University of Tennessee. “Learfield Sports has made remarkable strides in the collegiate sports marketplace for decades, and we know they’ll be an outstanding partner in this endeavor moving forward.”

Four all-sports champions receive the top honor each year in the NCAA Divisions I, II and III and the NAIA. The winner in each division receives a Directors’ Cup crystal trophy. The 2007-08 winners were announced and awarded their Directors’ Cups at NACDA’s 43rd Annual Convention in Dallas this past June. The winning institutions were Stanford in Division I, Grand Valley State (Mich.) in Division II, Williams (Mass.) in Division III and Azusa Pacific (Calif.) in the NAIA.

“The Directors’ Cup has been well-rooted in collegiate sports for years, and we’re proud to have the opportunity to be involved with the program at this level,” said Learfield Sports’ President Greg Brown. “Our conversations with NACDA and USA Today leading up to this decision were seamless, and we feel it is a perfect partnership for us at the corporate level.”

About Learfield Sports: The Dallas-based company is an operating unit of Jefferson City, Mo.-based Learfield Communications, Inc., which made its initial foray into the world of sports marketing in 1975 as the radio rights holder for the University of Missouri, a client still today. Additionally, Team Services, LLC, a Learfield Sports company, specializes in venue naming rights, marketing research and sales consultation. For more about the company and its complete collegiate portfolio, visit learfieldsports.com.

About NACDA: NACDA, now in its 44th year, is the professional and educational association for more than 6,500 college athletics administrators at more than 1,600 institutions throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. More than 2,400 athletics administrators annually attend the NACDA Convention. Additionally, NACDA administers 11 professional associations for the separate business units that report directly to the athletics directors.