The Good Word

Oct. 4, 2007

Current Edition: Issue No. 40, October 4, 2007

TO: Fans, Friends, and Supporters of Georgia Tech Athletics

FROM: Dan Radakovich, Georgia Tech Director of Athletics

I am sure many of you are aware that Georgia Tech’s multi-media sales rights are held by a national sports marketing company called International Sports Properties or ISP. The company was founded in 1992 and is headed by Ben Sutton, a WakeForest graduate, who has guided the company to unprecedented growth in its 15 years. ISP now represents more than 50 universities and athletic conferences including our own ACC and seven of our fellow league schools.

 

The general principle on which ISP operates is to enter agreements that pay schools an annual rights fee in exchange for the ability to then sell the schools’ radio, television and on-premise advertising. Many athletic directors enjoy the convenience of getting a guaranteed annual payment and not having to worry about hiring and maintaining a high-powered sales team and the myriad of other costs associated with running a sports sales arm. Guarantees that are negotiated over a long term keep the school from being susceptible to trends like a volatile economy and the roller coaster success or lack thereof of each sports season.

 

During the last seven or eight months we have been undergoing an exhaustive effort to determine where we want to position ourselves with our multi-media both in the short term – ISP’s final three years — and long term, after our current contract with ISP runs its course. Before we would even think about an extension with ISP beyond 2010 we have to define all of the things that we would require from the company. While a significantly increased annual guarantee is an obvious starting point, there are many other factors with which we are concerned.

 

We believe that Georgia Tech is a very unique property in the world of college athletics. So, while more and more schools are opting to go the third-party guarantee route, we are not at all convinced that it is best in the long term for Tech. Our physical location, in the midst of dozens of corporate headquarters, makes it logistically easier to form binding relationships on our own. The fact that our campus sits along the busiest stretch of roadway in America presents other opportunities. And the unique qualities of our student body, coveted by many companies such as General Electric, Dow Chemical and Raytheon would present opportunities that other schools would not enjoy.

 

And there is yet another oddity about the Georgia Tech market. It involves local radio coverage.  We enjoy a great relationship with 790 the Zone and they have been good partners for us, however for several years ISP and Tech have been unsuccessful in our attempt to work an arrangement to have our football and men’s basketball games carried on an FM station in the market. Even though ISP has offered large sums of money to entice various broadcast entities to consider a Tech package, we are no closer today than we have been at any time. We do have  another opportunity presenting itself. We just happen to have a 40,000-watt FM radio station on our campus. The signal that WREK sends out blankets the entire Atlanta metro area. We need to continue to explore what opportunities present themselves with WREK.

 

All of these issues make our multi-media future a fascinating study. I personally believe that Georgia Tech is uniquely positioned to make huge strides in this area in the coming years. We must build better relationships with our corporate base, improve our fan entertainment components within Bobby Dodd Stadium and other venues, strengthen our television, radio and internet exposure which will provide greater revenue for our athletics program in both the short and long term.

 

 

Alumni Baseball Game October 19th

The Georgia Tech Baseball Alumni Game has been scheduled for a 6 p.m. first pitch on Friday, Oct. 19 as part of Georgia Tech’s Homecoming festivities. The game will be held at Russ Chandler Stadium. This year’s game will feature alumni vs. alumni, but the 2008 team will be in attendance at the event. Any former members of the Georgia Tech baseball team interested in attending and/or playing in this year’s game are asked to contact Nick Scherer (404-894-2261, gtg836n@mail.gatech.edu) as soon as possible.

 

Congrats To Tuminello

Kevin Tuminello became our fourth football player to earn ACC player of the week honors last week when he was chosen ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week. Kevin is equally successful in the classroom. Other Yellow Jackets to win ACC honors this season: Andrew Gardner, Jonathan Dwyer and Travis Bell.

 

Jackets-`Canes At Noon

The Oct. 13 Georgia Tech-Miami game will begin at noon and will be televised nationally by ESPN. This will be the final time the Yellow Jackets play in old Orange Bowl Stadium.

 

Volleyball Heads South; Watch `Em On TV Or Laptop

The volleyball team, off to a 9-5 start overall and 3-1 in the ACC, heads south this weekend. They will play at FloridaState Friday at 7, followed by a game Sunday at noon in Miami. The FSU game will be televised by Sun Sports (available only if you’ve got a satellite) and the Miami game will be on ACC Select.

 

Defending Champs Off To Good Start

The NCAA champion women’s tennis team is playing this week at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.  Four Jackets – Whitney McCray, Amanda McDowell, Maya Johansson and Kristi Miller – were all in the ITA All-American 32-player main draw at press time on Thursday.

 

 

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