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USF enters media-rights deal with Jeff Vinik entity

An entity controlled by Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik, pictured here with USF President Dr. Judy Genshaft, has entered a multimedia-rights deal with Bulls athletics.

OCTAVIO JONES | Times

An entity controlled by Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik, pictured here with USF President Dr. Judy Genshaft, has entered a multimedia-rights deal with Bulls athletics.

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Bulls fans curious about the implications of USF's new multimedia-rights partnership with a Jeff Vinik-controlled group need look no farther than Amalie Arena.

The cutting-edge bells and whistles accompanying a Lightning game -- or at least a solid replicate of them -- now likely will be headed to USF events.

USF announced Monday it has entered a 10-year multimedia-rights partnership with Tampa Bay Entertainment Properties, LLC (TBEP), a newly-formed entity controlled by Vinik.

While separate from his entity that operates Amalie Arena and owns the Lightning, it's expected to provide the same type of innovative, fan-first experiences that helped the Lightning earn the No. 1 spot in ESPN's 2016 Ultimate Sports Standings.

"I think it's fair to say the work that we've seen in Amalie Arena is a goal that we've always aspired to be," Bulls athletic director Mark Harlan said.

"And now we're partnering with the group that put that on. So you can probably infer from that that not only are we excited about partnering with (TBEP), but I think our fans should be really excited as well."

The new deal begins July 1, a day after USF's contract with IMG Sports Marketing expires. It guarantees USF at least $29 million through the 10-year term, which Harlan confirmed brings USF a bit more money than the previous deal.

After an annual guarantee is met, USF also will receive 80 percent of all net revenue earned by TBEP between $200,000 and $1 million, and 50 percent of all net revenue in excess of $1 million, according to the contract.

In exchange, TBEP gets the rights to "all commercial multimedia sports marketing, sponsorship and advertising rights." Translation: It has creative control over Bulls radio broadcasts and coaches shows, game-day publications and social-media platforms, among other things.

It also receives the exclusive right to secure naming rights for the USF Sun Dome, and receives 35 percent of USF's annual naming rights licensing net profit, according to the contract.

Harlan wouldn't name any possible community partners who potentially could have their name on the renovated building, but said he thinks "it's a great opportunity for a partnership."

"Incredible building in the heart of this campus, and I think certainly with (TBEP) support along with my staff, we're anxious and enthusiastic about securing a partner. It would be a win-win for whoever joins in that quest with us."

[Last modified: Tuesday, April 18, 2017 8:16am]

    

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