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Study: End of Football Season Produced $37 Million in Media Exposure for Texas A&M

January 18, 2013
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Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)

COLLEGE STATION -- If it's true that athletics is the window to the world from which a university is seen, Texas A&M University is providing a great view.

The university recently retained the services of a renowned sports and sponsorship evaluation company to measure the media exposure generated by the football team's historic finish and quarterback Johnny Manziel winning the 2012 Heisman Trophy. Research conducted by Joyce Julius & Associates (www.joycejulius.com) shows that the redshirt freshman winning the prestigious trophy produced more than 1.8 million media impressions, which translates into $37 million in media exposure for Texas A&M.

Media impressions, the company officials explain, include news mentions from print, television and internet sources.  The figures do not reflect increases from merchandise sales, ticket requests or donations to the school, all of which historically have risen dramatically at schools that have produced a Heisman Trophy winner. The Collegiate Licensing Company has calculated a five-year average sales/royalty revenue growth for institutions with Heisman Trophy winners – 27.5% (for time period July 1 – December 30 of year of Heisman compared to previous year).

"We've long known that winning the most coveted trophy in sports attracts a great deal of media coverage, but this study gives us a much better understanding of the extent of the impact of the accomplishments of Coach Kevin Sumlin, Johnny Manziel and the entire team during the memorable season we just completed," says Eric Hyman, Texas A&M's athletic director. "The study validates how winning the Heisman Trophy truly does capture the national spotlight, and it's a great way to start our membership in the SEC, which provides unparalleled visibility for our university."

The report measures impressions and exposure values from Nov. 10, 2012 - following Texas A&M's historic road victory over eventual national champion Alabama - through Jan. 6, 2013, following the Aggies' impressive win over former Big 12 opponent Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl.  

Joyce Julius & Associates, based in Ann Arbor, Mich., has been conducting research of this type since 1985.  The firm regularly works provides sponsorship and media valuation services for some of the nation's top brands, such as Aflac, Chick-fil-A and Home Depot, as well as many bowl games and professional sports leagues and teams.

The study shows that television exposure totaled more than $7.6 million, print exposure was $7.5 million and internet news totaled $20.5 million in media value.  Also, the report reveals that some 26 USA Today articles referencing Texas A&M produced almost $1 million in media value from that outlet alone.

The researchers examined all major national print news sources for the study, and television sources included such outlets as ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, FOX, CNN, CNBC, FOX Sports, ESPN, Discovery Channel, USA Network and others.

Each month, Joyce Julius and Associates' proprietary NTIV® (National Television Impression Value) Factor is derived from the non-discounted or estimated CP:30 rates of more than 2,000 sports, entertainment and news telecasts airing in the United States and Canada over the previous 12 months, along with the corresponding viewing audiences for those programs. As an end result, the continually updated NTIV® Factor represents the cost necessary to reach one impression through the utilization of traditional advertising.

"This study by  Joyce Julius & Associates provides us detailed, quantifiable information about how positive athletics news can translate into actual dollars in terms of media exposure -and contribute significantly to our on-going branding initiatives for the entire university," said Jason Cook,  Texas A&M's vice president for marketing and communications. "You often hear the phrase that 'you can't buy that kind of coverage,' and this report shows how expensive it would be to actually reach a national audience over such an extended time period." 

Texas A&M's collegiate licensing sales figures are almost certainly to increase, says Shane Hinckley, assistant vice president for business development.  The Aggies were up 23 percent in gross licensing revenue before the start of the 2012 season, totaling $3.2 million and ranking No. 19 nationally. But recent figures show that Texas A&M now is No.15 in licensing revenues, Hinckley adds, based on the Aggies' success in their first SEC season and Manziel winning the Heisman.

Texas A&M's licensing revenues were three times above the national average before the season kicked off, and the university had experienced a 77 percent licensing growth in the last four years even before the move to the SEC, Hinckley reports.

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