The move to Division I was a huge step for Northern Kentucky University as a whole. It will affect every part of the university and profoundly change the athletic program. As a Division I sports program everything will be bigger — the games, the fan base and all around popularity, with the help of a new marketing partnership.
Nelligan Sports Marketing is a company that partners with Division I schools and helps increase their revenue and popularity and helps get them on their feet. The partnership is designed to assist NKU in their marketing and sponsorship efforts as a university, according to Scott Eaton, director of athletics at NKU. Not only will Nelligan help the university locally but it will connect them nationally with potential corporate sponsors and partnerships.
After becoming a Division I university, partnering with a corporate sponsor became a bigger option.
“These types of marketing companies program with Division I schools,” Eaton said. “We brought them on campus and showed them what we had to offer. Even in our last month at the Division II level they were impressed. It will bring us immediate gratification as a university.”
NKU hopes this partnership will be a multi-year deal with census and renewable options. Right now the contract is for seven years but it is very flexible.
“We want this to develop into a partnership that will ultimately last forever,” Eaton said. “It will also tie in businesses and corporations with The Bank of Kentucky Center on campus. Both entities want it to go on for a while.”
The first step in the process will be tying together NKU’s new and old partnerships. The athletic department will begin contacting corporate partners that were out of reach before NKU became Division I, not only in this region but nationally.
“It was very important for NKU to partner with Nelligan,” said Brittany Booth, director of athletic marketing and promotions at NKU. “There are a lot of Division I universities that do not partner. This is just another way to show that NKU is growing, another thing that shows we are on the map and we have people interested in us.”
The partnership will help all NKU sports programs, especially basketball. It will help fine tune broadcasting on the air waves and eventually we will hope to have commercials on the television, too.
“Nelligan will have someone working 24/7 to sell our brand to companies and convince them to be a part of our athletics,” Booth said. “It’s a partnership between the university and the corporations, they do the leg work for us and try to find sponsors.”
The partnership with Nelligan will be a commission-based agreement and there will be no risk for NKU in the partnership financially.
The partnership with Nelligan Sports Marketing will begin to get the word out about NKU as a Division I school and show what there is to offer. It will help generate more revenue in the athletic department and the institution in the long run.