Firm gets Iowa sports rights to 2026


September 2nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – The University of Iowa athletics department has given the company that manages its sports marketing a contract extension through 2026 and the right to sell the name of its basketball court in exchange for guaranteed payments totaling $114 million. Learfield Communications beat out several firms in 2006 for a 10-year contract to exclusively broadcast Iowa athletic events on the radio, negotiate corporate sponsorship agreements and generate other advertising income. Iowa was guaranteed $55.1 million. But in a move that has escaped public scrutiny, records show Iowa agreed in November 2009 to extend the contract by another 10 years and give Learfield the ability to sell naming rights to the court at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Cable television provider Mediacom in February secured the naming rights for terms that haven’t been released.