Play By Play Sports, LLC (PBP) was formed in 2002, offering various collegiate sports marketing services. Expertise in sponsorship sales, corporate and media agency services, sports marketing consulting, media production and distribution, hospitality and entertainment, and sports property management were provided in the collegiate athletics industry. PBP made immediate headlines when it secured the multi-media marketing rights to the premier brand in all of college athletics, the University of Notre Dame.
As President and principal owner of Play By Play Sports, Scott Correira assumed day-to-day control of Notre Dame Sports Properties as its President and General Manager. As a condition of his contract with Notre Dame, Correira agreed to represent Notre Dame exclusively and went about building a new corporate sponsorship and marketing plan for Notre Dame Athletics.
The concept was for NDSP to coordinate all sales and marketing activities with key Notre Dame media partners, NBC Sports, and Westwood One Radio Network (later IMG). In addition to creating and managing the unique Notre Dame athletics corporate partner program, NDSP would also produce radio, television, print, and social/digital media products, as well as develop and market an extensive VIP corporate hospitality experience.
PBP was challenged to create a national marketing program that would generate significant incremental revenues while operating within Notre Dame’s conservative commercial sponsorship philosophy. With no stadium signage, in-game/on-field football promotions, or luxury suites, NDSP marketed its most valuable asset: the Notre Dame brand. The Team Notre Dame platform was created as the peak of a corporate sponsorship strategy that capitalized on Notre Dame’s national brand, passionate fan and alumni following, and national media partners. A maximum of six to eight national corporate partners would be secured and co-branded with Notre Dame athletics.
Marketing and advertising assets would include national promotional and retail rights to the Notre Dame marks and logos, advertising in Notre Dame football national telecasts on NBC, national radio game broadcasts of Notre Dame football, branding throughout all in-house media productions, and unique VIP experiences. In addition, Team Notre Dame partners could potentially gain access to other aspects of the University for business-to-business relationships, hiring of students, opportunity for participation in academic symposiums and leadership and management seminars, executive education, collaboration in University research initiatives, etc. NDSP quickly signed Chase, Coca-Cola, Comcast, Gatorade, McDonald’s, SIRIUS, and Xerox to go along with adidas as the full capacity of Team Notre Dame members was reached within the first two years. Partners used various methods for leveraging their partnership with consumer promotions, national advertising campaigns featuring Notre Dame, and unique business to business experiences for their customers.
PBP applied the same marketing principles contained in the Team Notre Dame national corporate partner program to a regional corporate marketing program (Notre Dame Marketing Partners), and a local corporate marketing program (Notre Dame Promotional Partners), and also cultivated and grew the Notre Dame football corporate hospitality program. During PBP’s management of Notre Dame Sports Properties, Notre Dame saw a net profit increase of approximately 500% in its corporate partner program as compared to Notre Dame’s efforts prior to NDSP. PBP has since applied these same sports marketing sponsorship principles to other PBP partnerships (such as the Army-Navy Football Game) with excellent results. PBP’s proven approach to the sports sponsorship business continues to provide partners with a unique and successful business model.