Ohio Announces Partnership With Front Row Sports Marketing Services

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Ohio University announced a partnership with Front Row Sports Marketing Services in order to secure naming rights for the Convocation Center and Peden Stadium Field, according to a release by the company on Tuesday.

Front Row Sports Marketing Services is a sports and entertainment marketing firm based out of Philadelphia, Pa., that sells and evaluates commercial sponsorships, as well as specializing in securing naming rights.

Ohio has been working with the firm for about a year, but Front Row has not yet gone out to begin looking for possible buyers. Ohio Athletic Director Jim Schaus said that the program clearly hopes to generate millions of dollars from the venture.

“There’s a lot of institutions and schools that have had a lot of success at looking at corporate sponsorship naming opportunities,” Schaus said. “Miami University is doing something with the same company and looking for naming opportunities.”

While many have suggested that the money from the naming rights be used for facility renovations, Schaus said that Ohio would look to improve academic facilities first. Possibilities include renovation or rebuilding of the academic center or help with academic support services.

“We can win games and win championships and go to Sweet 16s and go to bowl games, but if we’re not doing a good job in our graduation rates, then that’s not the kind of reflection that we want for our institution.”

Schaus said that with the naming rights, the sponsoring company would also receive program ads and signage inside and outside of the stadium or arena. Ohio has the right to veto any company’s offer if the university feels unfavorably of a company’s reputation or financial offer.

“I think it’s an exciting idea,” Schaus said. “It has been successful at other places and if we want to continue to build our program, sometimes you have to be creative and think outside of the box.”

There is no timetable for finding a company to buy the naming rights.