UT radio rights move to Rocket Sports Properties; WSPD remains flagship station of athletics

June 8, 2009 | News, UToday
By Paul Helgren

The University of Toledo has announced that Learfield Sports’ Rocket Sports Properties (RSP) has reached a new agreement to obtain all radio rights to Rocket athletic events from Clear Channel Radio and its local affiliate, News Talk 1370 WSPD, beginning this fall.

While the rights will transition to RSP, UT Athletics’ multimedia rights holder, WSPD, will continue its long-standing tradition of serving as the flagship radio partner for Rocket sports as it has done for nearly 50 years. Beginning with football this fall and continuing with men’s basketball, WSPD will be the Rockets’ radio home to all pre-game, play-by-play and post-game programming for all regular-season and post-season games, as well as home to all coaches’ shows. Another Clear Channel station in the Toledo market, WCWA, will continue to carry Rocket women’s basketball games.

“We are very pleased that we can streamline our processes to our exclusive athletics marketing partner in RSP, while Rocket fans and alumni will continue to enjoy the quality sports broadcasts they are accustomed to from our longtime radio partner, WSPD,” said UT Athletic Director Mike O’Brien.

“We’re thrilled to continue our tradition of broadcasting Rocket games and believe this new arrangement will be seamless and smart for everyone involved,” said Andy Stuart, vice president and market manager for WSPD, the No. 1 AM radio station in the market with 5,000 watts that provides regional coverage through the entire market.

RSP General Manager Michael Sydlowski added, “Our goal is to create the best possible Rocket Sports Radio Network for fans, students, alumni and sponsors. By the end of next year, we anticipate adding new affiliates in Detroit, Cleveland, Columbus, Findlay and Lima to take the message of The University of Toledo and UT Athletics to unprecedented heights.”

Rocket Sports Properties is a property of Learfield Sports, which titles the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup in partnership with the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and USA Today. In addition to The University of Toledo, the company manages multimedia rights for more than 50 collegiate institutions and associations, manages the marketing partnerships for the Black Coaches & Administrators, and provides exclusive sports programming to more than 1,000 radio stations throughout the country.

Dallas-based Learfield Sports 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.

For more information and a complete listing of Learfield Sports’ portfolio, visit www.learfieldsports.com.

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