The esteemed Directors’ Cup moves forward with a new title sponsor this fall – Learfield Sports – as officially announced today by USA Today and the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA).
What began as a joint initiative between USA Today and NACDA in 1993 has grown into a highly recognized mark of distinction among collegiate institutions through a point system that awards a respective institution points based on its national finish in an NCAA or NAIA championship.
The Directors’ Cup now will share an affiliation with Learfield Sports, a leader in the collegiate sports marketplace for almost 40 years. The company manages the multimedia and sponsorship rights for nearly 50 collegiate institutions such as Oklahoma, Penn State, North Carolina, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Alabama, Purdue, Indiana, Miami (Fla.) and Stanford, which has been awarded the Directors’ Cup trophy for 14 consecutive years. The company also manages corporate partner programs for the Big Ten Conference and the Western Athletic Conference and shares an extensive relationship with the Black Coaches & Administrators (BCA) by managing the organization’s marketing partnerships.
Four all-sports champions receive the top honor each year in the NCAA Divisions I, II and III and the NAIA. The winner in each division receives a Directors’ Cup crystal trophy. The 2007-’08 winners were announced and awarded their Directors’ Cups at NACDA’s 43rd Annual Convention in Dallas this past June. The winning institutions were Stanford in Division I, Grand Valley State (Mich.) in Division II, Williams (Mass.) in Division III and Azusa Pacific (Calif.) in the NAIA.
"The Directors’ Cup has been well-rooted in collegiate sports for years, and we’re proud to have the opportunity to be involved with the program at this level," said Learfield Sports’ President Greg Brown. "Our conversations with NACDA and USA Today leading up to this decision were seamless, and we feel it is a perfect partnership for us at the corporate level."
The Dallas-based company is an operating unit of Jefferson City, Mo.-based Learfield Communications, Inc., which made its initial foray into the world of sports marketing in 1975 as the radio rights holder for the University of Missouri, a client still today.