Historically black colleges and universities across the country are starting to cash in on the popularity and expensive media rights deals of college football’s blue-chip programs.
Some of the most storied programs have sought out HBCUs to fill holes in game schedules for upcoming seasons, which has provided lucrative opportunities and brand exposure for HBCUs.
“The revenue we’ll be generating will be huge,” said North Carolina Central University athletic director Louis Perkins. “I don’t want to say it’s essential for our survival, but it’s very, very important.”
HBCUs, which enter these games as heavy underdogs, are handed big checks via game guarantees.
- Tennessee State will earn $1 million to play Notre Dame on Sept. 2, 2023, in South Bend.
- UCLA will pay Alabama State $590,000 for a game on Sept. 10, 2022, at the Rose Bowl.
- The Bruins will also pay NC Central $700,000 for a game on Sept. 16, 2023, at the Rose Bowl.
HBCUs have recently gained more notoriety in college football as NFL legends Eddie George and Deion Sanders have joined the coaching ranks at Tennessee State and Jackson State, respectively — and big brands and companies are also taking notice.
Earlier this month, CBS announced a deal with Allen Media Group’s HBCU Go — the largest broadcaster for sports at HBCUs — while Jordan Brand secured a 20-year pact with Howard University, one of the country’s most prestigious HBCUs.