Marquette Wire

Marquette employs a specific team within athletic department for sponsorship events

Marquette+has+its+own+sponsorship+department+within+the+athletics+program.+Photo+by+Ben+Erickson%2Fbenjamin.erickson%40marquette.edu
Marquette has its own sponsorship department within the athletics program. Photo by Ben Erickson/benjamin.erickson@marquette.edu

Marquette has its own sponsorship department within the athletics program. Photo by Ben Erickson/benjamin.erickson@marquette.edu

Marquette has its own sponsorship department within the athletics program. Photo by Ben Erickson/benjamin.erickson@marquette.edu

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Chances are any sporting event at Marquette, whether it be men’s basketball or women’s soccer, the arena is decorated in sponsorships and advertisements. A fact that is lesser known is how the university chooses which corporations to partner with and feature.

There is a sub-department within Marquette Athletics called Marquette Sports Properties that manages all of the corporate sponsorships aligned with the athletic teams throughout the university.

Companies that want to advertise their products or services at sporting events, such as National Marquette Day, must go through Marquette Sports Properties in order to arrange how the sponsorship message should be conveyed.

“There has to be interest from the corporate partner that they want to have their message presented to our fans,” said Brad Harrison, general manager of Marquette Sports Properties. “It is more of an interest from the client.”

Harrison said that Marquette has a strong interest in working with local corporate partners who want to reach the Milwaukee and student communities.

“We are constantly trying to find new partners,” Harrison said. “Part of it is that we are very client focused and try to find a need for the client.”

According to the National Collegiate Athletic Association, for the 2014-’15 season Marquette was ranked as the 22nd highest attended men’s basketball program with an average of 13,657 fans per game for  a total of 232,161 for the season.

There have been challenges over the past several years as more conventional means of advertising, such as large logos and other physical branding options at collegiate sporting events, have been less popular with companies wishing to promote themselves in new and innovate ways.

“I think that companies aren’t as interested in throwing up a logo and having that be all they do,” Harrison said. “They want to impact people where they are digitally with social media. Those are areas that our corporate partners have an interest in.”

While a significant part of the impact corporate sponsorships in the world of college sports can attribute to companies wanting to have their logo seen and talked about by students and individuals from the surrounding communities, there are less tangible benefits to corporate sponsorships for the university as well.

“I believe that having a strong corporate presence shows the health of a program and it is a great story to tell as we develop (athletics) within the university and think there is a perception there that a company being associated with a great university like Marquette definitely benefits them,” Harrison said.

In addition to benefiting the development of the athletics programs and the university in general, there is also a greater impact on the surrounding community.

“I think (sponsorships) also show the rest of the greater business community here in Milwaukee that (companies) show what is going on, on campus and it is a very high-profile way to show that,” Harrison said.

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