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Big 12 Continues To ‘Explore’ Corporate Naming Rights For League

Jul 9, 2024, 1:47 PM

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LAS VEGAS – Will the Big 12 Conference change its name for a corporate sponsor?

Details remain vague, but it’s being considered by Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark and his team.

“Nothing is imminent,” Yormark said on Tuesday at Big 12 Media Days.

Last month, reports surfaced that the league was considering selling the conference’s naming rights to insurance company Allstate for up to $50 million in revenue.

Brett Yormark has a history in naming rights deals

Yormark sees the value in a potential name change but is calmly approaching the possibility.

“Do I believe in naming rights? I do,” Yormark said. “I’ve done a few in my career. When I was at NASCAR, we went from Winston Cup to NEXTEL. I was at Continental Airlines Arena when I took over the Nets and we turned it into IZOD Center. We sold Barclays Center when we moved to Brooklyn.

“Naming rights are important to me. I see the value in it. If they have the right naming rights and it’s the right partner. So we’re going to explore it, and we will see where we land.”

Handing a league’s name over to a corporate sponsor would be the first of its kind. Yormark sees value beyond money with a potential naming rights partner.

Big 12 wants a partner that can “amplify the conference”

“You’ve got to have a partner willing to elevate and amplify the conference. That, to me, is critically important and someone that’s going to be a strategic partner,” Yormark said. “If someone’s just coming to leverage the brand power of the Big 12, that’s of no interest to us.

“If they can come in and the economics are right and they can provide the value creation we’re looking for and support our student-athletes and elevate our narrative in all of the right ways both locally, regionally, and nationally. Then it becomes a very interesting opportunity for us and one we’re going to consider.”

Since the league was formed in 1996, the number 12 has always remained in the league despite when it had 10 members, 14, or now 16.

Will they keep the number 12 in the name?

“We haven’t gotten that far yet,” said Yormark. “Tyrell (Kirkham) has done a wonderful job in getting 12 to mean more than how many members. As you can see, we’ve always been greater than 12. … So we’ll see where that goes. But the first order, can we find the right strategic and financial partner that is going to support this conference in all the right ways. As of right now, nothing is imminent.”

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and hosts the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on X: @Mitch_Harper.

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Big 12 Continues To ‘Explore’ Corporate Naming Rights For League