IMG to service network of 56 Canadian universities athletics and conference programs
U SPORTS, the national brand of university sports in Canada, today announced that it has selected IMG to build and execute a sponsorship strategy for its four member conferences and 56 member universities.
In addition to aggregating rights across the U SPORTS network, IMG will also develop sponsorship opportunities for U SPORTS’ national championships, including the Vanier Cup and championships operated by the conferences; as well as member school assets including recreation centres, intramural programs and varsity sports.
“U SPORTS is thrilled that a leader in sports sponsorship has agreed to work with our organization to support our four conferences, 56 universities and more than 14,000 student-athletes,” said Graham Brown, President and CEO of U SPORTS. “We are extremely confident IMG will help us open doors to Canadian businesses seeking opportunities to reach a young demographic living active lifestyles across the country. IMG’s expertise and experience will ultimately provide U SPORTS with the necessary support to properly showcase the excellence of our members’ sports programs and our student-athletes - many of whom represent Canada internationally or as professional athletes. Today’s announcement is a crucial component of the transition to a new business model initiated 18 months ago with the rebranding of U SPORTS.”
The 56 member institutions in U SPORTS are divided into four regional conferences: Atlantic University Sport (AUS), Canada West (CW), Ontario University Athletics (OUA) and Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ).
U SPORTS runs 21 national championships and the conferences operate more than 80 championships annually. There are more than 7,700 varsity sports games played per year across U SPORTS and its member conferences.
Recreation centres at the 56 member institutions see more than 900,000 weekly visits collectively with more than 170,000 students participating in intramural programs.
“We are very happy to be partnering with U SPORTS and its unmatched network of member schools, conferences and assets,” said Sam Galet, IMG’s Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Canada. “An aggregated U SPORTS offering will provide leading brands and companies an unprecedented platform to engage university sports fans of all ages in exciting, credible ways.”
IMG and the broader Endeavor network of companies has a significant footprint across Canada through events and properties it owns and/or represents including the UFC, Professional Bull Riders, Investors Group Stars on Ice Presented by Lindt, Tastemaker Toronto, Country Thunder and Skate Canada.