Big 12, Conference USA Considering Selling Conferences’ Naming Rights, per Report

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark presented members of the conference with a lucrative first-of-its-kind revenue-generation proposal, Ross Dellenger of Yahoo Sports reports.

At a meeting of Big 12 administrators in Dallas in late May, Yormark proposed for the first time that the conference could sell its naming rights, just as stadiums and bowl games have done. Action Network's Brett McMurphy reported that the Big 12 is in talks with the insurance company Allstate to take over the naming rights. The conference would potentially be named "The Big Allstate Conference" or "The Allstate 12 Conference" if an agreement is reached. (The conference had 14 teams in the 2023–24 academic year and will expand to 16 teams for the ’24 football season.)

The unprecedented sponsorship would generate “hundreds of millions of dollars” for the conference, Dellenger reports, and is expected to generate bids from several companies.

Conference USA is “deeply exploring” a similar move, Dellenger reported later Thursday, in which the league would potentially change its name to “Globe Life Conference USA” or “Globe Life Conference” as part of a multimillion dollar deal with the Texas-based insurance company.

The news comes during a period of immense change for college athletics. The settlement in the House v. NCAA case paved the way for college athletes to receive direct compensation and has schools searching for additional revenue streams to pay players.

The Big 12 is also reportedly considering another unorthodox way to raise funds. Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports reported Thursday that the conference is considering an investment from Luxembourg-based private equity company CVC Capital Partners. The firm would invest between $800 million and $1 billion in exchange for a 15–20% stake in the conference.

The Big 12 is losing its two most high-profile members with the departure of Texas and Oklahoma, who are joining the SEC. Four former Pac-12 schools (Arizona, Arizona State, Utah and Colorado) will officially join the Big 12 on July 1.


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Dan Gartland

DAN GARTLAND

Dan Gartland is the writer and editor of Sports Illustrated’s flagship daily newsletter, SI:AM, covering everything an educated sports fan needs to know. Previously published on Deadspin and Slate, Dan also is a former Sports Jeopardy! champion (Season 1, Episode 5).