Temple University Takes Sponsorship to New Level

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Many are wondering if it is even legal within the NCAA.

Temple Football players wearing 1–9 will have the opportunity to be sponsored. Photo via Temple Athletics.

Sponsorships and sports seem to go hand in hand. Through unique activations, brands can gain awareness and exposure during sporting events such as the Atlanta Braves’ #BeatTheFreeze sponsorship activation with RaceTrac (a regional convenience store and gas station chain) or FC Viktoria Plzeň with dugouts that look like beer cans.

With the NBA introducing jersey sponsors for the 2017–18 season, allowing teams to gain some additional revenue and following suit of teams in Europe and the WNBA, sponsors are aligning with teams more than ever.

Sponsorships provide additional revenue streams for teams both professionally and in the college ranks. Logos around stadiums or in programs are ways for brands to gain exposure and align themselves with certain schools or organizations. Temple University’s football team has made news over the past year or so, not only for on-field performance, but also for innovating off the field.

Whether it was beating Penn State in 2015 for the first time since 1941 or hiring a S.W.A.G. Coordinator, the Owls have been in the national spotlight for the past few years. Not to be outdone by its past few years, Temple football just introduced a brand-new sponsorship opportunity — top football donors can now sponsor individual jersey numbers (1–9).

In a program called “The 9”, Temple fans can sponsor the team’s “toughest players” (the Owls traditionally assign numbers 1–9 to the “toughest players”) for a $50,000 tax-deductible annual commitment. The contributions, according to the University, will go toward resources for players, including career services, greater access to mental health services, as well as facility projects and the recruiting budget.

In return for the donation, participants in “The 9” will be provided several exclusive benefits including:

  • Interaction with the assigned student-athlete throughout the year,
  • Custom jersey with the donor’s name and assigned number, and
  • Tickets for the donor and a guest to travel on the team plane to one, mutually agreed upon football away contest.

Numbers one through three have already been assigned to donors, with the remaining numbers to be assigned at an event prior to the season kickoff.

The Owls are continuing to innovate in #sportsbiz. With the inaugural year of “The 9” coming up, keep an eye on teams around the country (both professionally and in the college ranks) to see if there are any unique sponsorships surrounding individual jerseys.


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