Learfield IMG College just got a new influx of cash from their existing investors. According to Sportico, The dominant college sports broadcasting platform received $242 million in new investments from Endeavor, Silver Lake, and Atairos.
All three of those firms have been staunch supporters of the broadcast group. The move also helped Learfield extend the maturity date of $183 million in existing loans scheduled to be paid off this year to 2023.
“While the college sports community has navigated dynamic challenges, we have continued to lean in to unlock new value for our university partners and brand partners alike,” Learfield IMG College CEO Cole Gahagan said in a statement. “We now have the deepest and broadest platform that includes digital sponsorships, contactless mobile ticketing, governance for NIL, esports, content, and industry collaborations, with the necessary fan data and analytics to help school partners grow their entire athletics departments.”
This was perfect timing for Learfield after the pandemic threw their business model in flux, with games canceled left and right across college sports. Learfield now has access to $425 million in capital as they forge ahead to a more normal college sports climate this fall.
About a month ago, Sportico uncovered the net profit Learfield brings in from Georgia, Nebraska, Michigan, Kansas, Houston, Georgia Tech, Marshall, and UCLA.
Georgia was far and away the most profitable partner for Learfield in the pandemic year of 2019-20. The Bulldogs produced $7.4 million in profit for the network. The low positive number came from Marshall, who produced $492,000 in profit.
The only school on the list that didn’t make Learfield money was UCLA. The Bruins lost Learfield $933,000 in 2018-19 and $1.7 million in 2019-20. Conferences around the country expect to allow more fans into sporting events this year as Learfield prepares to bring all the action to those not lucky enough to be there in person.
Pat McAfee: ‘People Attacking Simone Biles Are Insane’
Pat McAfee was effusive in his praise for Olympic gymnast Simone Biles who recently withdrew from an event.
Olympic phenom Simone Biles was the talk of the Olympics for the American side coming into this year’s games. She has also become the largest story so far after bowing out of the team competition, citing her mental health. This has drummed up significant conversation on social media and sports radio. Most of the feedback has been supportive of Biles, but plenty of detractors questioned the 4-time gold medalist’s and 19-time world champion’s mental toughness. Pat McAfee took to his SiriusXM show to loudly object to those talking points.
“People attacking her for that is insane to me,” McAfee said. “She was going through something and said I’m not going to be the reason that these Olympic dreams are f***** completely.”
McAfee knows first-hand what it is like to compete at the highest level, having punted for the Indianapolis Colts before getting into a meteoric podcasting career. The Pittsburgh-native has been quite vocal on Twitter in support of Biles, with numerous clips from the show also echoing that sentiment.
“We need her to remember that she is Simone f****** Biles,” he said. “She’s conquered more than anybody else in this sport. She’s been through adversity in the past and stood on the other side victorious, and she’ll do it again.”
Bucks Fans Can Dunk Amin Elhassan For Wrong Prediction
Meadowlark’s Amin Elhassan will make an appearance at a dunk tank in Milwaukee as part of a loud-wrong tour for takes on the 2021 NBA Finals.
Dan Le Batard often pokes fun at himself or others at Meadowlark for when they are “loud wrong.” The phrase is similar to the content found on the Cold Takes Exposed Twitter account where old prognostications are revisited after the result is known, proving the prior prediction to be very, well, loudly wrong.
Such is the case for Meadowlark’s Amin Elhassan who severely downplayed the Milwaukee Bucks’ chances in the NBA Finals. After the Bucks won in six games, Elhassan is paying his retribution to the city of Milwaukee with a stint inside of a dunk tank.
The appearance has been championed on Twitter and Instagram on the Le Batard accounts, full of embarrassing moments from Elhassan in the past caught on television and streaming cameras. An extra joke is built in for regular Le Batard listeners, as the host site of the dunk tank is none other than McGillycuddy’s. The overtly Irish walking-stereotype is a long-running joke by regular guest Greg Cote in which he refers to his physician as Dr. McGillycuddy.
The show has received a lot of play from Amin Elhassan, a noted NBA expert who previously worked for ESPN and also in the Phoenix Suns front office. Earlier this week, Le Batard and Stugotz played the clip for Bucks forward Bobby Portis, whose reaction was one of shock and disgust.
Bucks fans will get the chance to dunk Amin into the tank, or dunk on him with their words, from 11-6 on Wednesday.
680 WPTF Becomes New Tar Heels Flagship
UNC Tar Heel football and men’s basketball will move from iHEARTMEDIA’s WTKK to Curtis Media Group’s WPTF.
The North Carolina Tar Heels are beginning a new era with their basketball program following the retirement of Roy Williams giving way to his successor Hubert Davis. The football program is experiencing a bit of a resurgence by going back to a coach of old as Mack Brown has injected new life into the program in his second stint in Chapel Hill. Both programs will now have their games heard locally in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill market on WPTF moving forward, per a release from the station.
“As the largest privately owned radio group in North Carolina, we understand the power of the Carolina brand,’’ said Curtis Media Group President and COO Trip Savery. “We are very pleased to welcome Carolina alumni and fans to listen to Tar Heel football and basketball on WPTF this fall.”
Tar Heel games could previously be heard on iHeartMedia’s WTKK. The new deal comes from an agreement with Learfield and will see Jones Angell transition over to continue calling UNC action.
“We are excited about this partnership with Curtis Media Group, which will help us tell the great stories of Carolina athletics in the Triangle area and across the state,’’ said UNC Associate Athletic Director for External Communications Robbi Pickeral Evans. “We know that Carolina fans are excited about the year to come, and Curtis Media’s wide reach will help us connect and stay connected with our supporters.”
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