IMG College, the nation’s leading collegiate marketing company, and SME, the renowned branding and full-service advertising agency, today announced the formation of an exclusive venture aimed at delivering industry-leading brand strategy and identity, as well as digital and traditional marketing services to colleges and universities across the country.
The venture enhances IMG College’s existing suite of sponsorship, marketing, brand licensing, ticketing, and seating services currently offered to top universities. It also provides a dedicated platform for SME to expand its proven innovative and creative approaches for successful brand strategy andmarketing to help top collegiate institutions better position themselves tostand apart and deepen connections with core constituencies.
“Colleges and universities need to distinguish themselves in this cluttered marketplace of brands and messages if they hope to successfully connect with partners, consumers, fans, the higher education/athletics community, and prospective students,” stated Ed O’Hara, Senior Partner, SME. “By teaming with IMG, we will bring innovative branding services to a wider range of collegiate institutions, allowing them to assess their current brand position and develop a strategy that meets their institutional goals. We are thrilled by this moment and can't wait to get to work!"
IMG College and SME will use their combined resources, expertise, and relationships to offer services in brand strategy and consulting, research, brand identity development, brand positioning and messaging, integrated advertising services, media planning and buying, website design and development, video, broadcast and animation, and digital and social media support to meet the ever-changing academic and athletic branding needs of collegiate institutions.
“We are excited to join with SME to deliver creative, results-oriented branding services that address the consumer engagement needs of our existing and potential new collegiate partners,” said Ben C. Sutton, Jr., President, IMG College. “As we continue to develop a one-of-a-kind legacy company in the college segment of the sports and entertainment market, the ability to offer comprehensive brand strategy expertise is one more example of our commitment to delivering unrivaled, multi-dimensional marketing services to colleges, universities, athletic conferences, and other collegiate institutions.”
SME is an independent strategic branding, advertising, marketing and digital agency, specializing in connecting with audiences through powerful identity development, digital strategy, advertising and social media engagement. Founded in 1989, SME enjoys a stellar worldwide reputation of creative excellence, thought leadership and client service. The agency has four practice areas: Higher Education and Non-Profit, Consumer Goods,Sports and Entertainment and Business to Business Ventures.SME’s client list includes some of the leading brands in higher education and global entertainment including The New York Yankees, Pac-12 Conference, UFC, Atlantic Coast Conference, Madison Square Garden Company, Kentucky Derby, NASCAR, Miami Marlins, University of Louisville, and many more. For more information, visit www.smebranding.com.
About IMG College
IMG College is the nation’s leading collegiate multimedia, marketing and licensing/brand management company, representing more than 200 of the nation’s top collegiate properties, including the NCAA and its 89 championships, NCAA Football, leading conferences and many of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the country. Headquartered in Winston Salem, N.C., IMG College connects brands with the largest and most demographically attractive fan base in sports through partnership opportunities in multimedia rights, sponsorship sales, licensing, marketing, ticketing, seating, fundraising, premium events and hospitality, stadium and arena development, and consulting. IMG College produces nearly 31,000 hours of radio programming on the largest sports network in the country, manages nearly 5,000 hours of local television programming, is the leading publisher of college sports publications and is the largest manager of university athletic websites. IMG College is a division of IMG Worldwide, a global sports, fashion and media business. For more information, please visit www.imgcollege.com.