Ohio University once again is moving to upgrade its signage at the Convocation Center and Peden Stadium, with two new electronic “ribbon boards” set to be installed at a cost of $400,000.
However, the university says it’s not paying for those boards directly.
Michael Ashcraft, assistant athletic director for media relations at OU, said in an email in mid-May that OU is seeking a multimedia rights company to manage and sell sponsorship and branding rights for Ohio Athletics in return for a rights fee.
“Ohio Athletics is in the final stages of a multimedia rights RFP that, once awarded, would require the installation of new ribbon boards that would be funded by the successful multimedia rights bidder,” Ashcraft said at the time. “The ribbon boards RFQ was initiated to gain insight into the cost and scope of the potential project, which again would be funded by the successful multimedia rights bidder and not by Ohio University resources.”
OU’s former contract as of mid-May was with Learfield IMG College, a marketing company based in Plano, Texas. OU spokesperson Jim Sabin said in an email this week that OU has signed a multimedia rights and licensing contract with that same firm for the next 12 years.
Ashcraft explained that the electronic ribbon boards will be used for sponsor recognition as well as “in-game crowd prompts.” Similar boards can be found at major sports stadiums and arenas across the country.
The OU Board of Trustees approved the university spending $715,000 to build a new scoreboard for Peden Stadium in January 2017, and voted again in early 2018 to approve spending almost $2 million to build a new scoreboard at the Convocation Center
The Ohio football team plays in Peden, while the basketball and other indoor sports teams play in the Convocation Center.