Brown Athletics Unveils Brown Bears Sports Properties As Its Dedicated Corporate Sponsorship Sales Unit

PROVIDENCE, R.I.– Brown University Athletics, in conjunction with Learfield Sports, has developed Brown Bears Sports Properties as its exclusive corporate sponsorship sales unit, as announced today by Director of Athletics Jack Hayes. This dedicated unit is designed to support Brown Athletics’ initiative to enhance the service provided to local and regional businesses and further promote the Brown brand affinity to the corporate community. 

 

“We are excited about the development of Brown Bears Sports Properties,” said Hayes.  “Learfield Sports is a trusted leader in this field and has long-standing relationships with many college and university athletic programs.  We look forward to implementing the Learfield approach to generate innovative promotional ideas, customized programming and new asset offerings to Brown’s corporate partners.”

 

Leading Brown Bears Sports Properties is General Manager Augusto “Cookie” Rojas, who most recently served eight years as general sales manager for the Pawtucket Red Sox and taught sports management for nearly five years at Johnson & Wales University. Nelligan Sports Marketing, Brown Athletics’ former marketing partner, was acquired by Learfield Sports in early February. Brown Bears Sports Properties will office on campus, which will allow a close working relationship with the entire Brown Athletics administration. The property manages all aspects of the multimedia rights including venue signage, event sponsorships/marketing, corporate hospitality, radio game broadcasts and coaches’ shows, television and digital sponsorships, including the official athletic website www.brownbears.com.

 

 “We’re fortunate to have the opportunity to work with Brown and will strive to be terrific partners and representatives by providing exceptional service to the corporate community to enhance the growth of the university brand. We’re excited to be off and running and look forward to building on the outstanding traditions already established here,” said Learfield President and CEO Greg Brown. 

 

In addition to its core business of nearly 100 collegiate multimedia rights properties which consist of institutional, conference and facility level partnerships, Learfield Sports is involved with collegiate ticketing, licensing and concessions, and titles the prestigious Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup that annually awards top-performing athletic programs. Its multimedia rights encompass numerous content distribution platforms to deliver the passion of college athletics to fans globally. To learn more about the company’s 40-year history and portfolio, visit www.learfieldsports.com

Women’s Rugby is Brown’s 38th Varsity Sport

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Brown University will elevate its women’s rugby team from club level to full varsity status for the 2014-15 academic year. Women’s rugby will be the University’s 21st women’s varsity team, making Brown a leader in varsity options for female athletes of all NCAA institutions.

“Women have been playing rugby at Brown for more than 35 years and are strong competitors at the national level,” said Brown President Christina Paxson. “Elevation to varsity status celebrates the achievements of alumnae and current players, and I congratulate them all on a persistent and successful effort.”

The Brown Women’s Rugby Football Club was founded in 1977 and has grown to become one of the top-ranked teams in Division I. It has reached the USA Rugby National Championships round of 16 and has won the Ivy League Championship six years in a row. In 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2012, Brown competed in the semifinal national championship game, the highest level the club has ever reached. In 2013, Brown hired Kathy Flores as its first full-time women’s rugby coach.

“Women’s rugby is a rapidly developing sport in communities and high schools as well as at the college level,” said Jack Hayes, director of athletics at Brown. “Brown University has a great record as a leader in athletic opportunities for women and is among the first dozen Division I teams to reach the varsity level for women’s rugby.”

The NCAA currently classifies Division I women's rugby as an emerging sport, designation designed to encourage the growth of opportunity at the intercollegiate level. According to USA Rugby, the sport is growing rapidly at the high school and intercollegiate level, currently including more than 300 collegiate women’s rugby clubs. Women’s rugby has been an Olympic sport at four previous games and will return to the Olympics in 2016.

Brown is the second Ivy League institution to offer women’s rugby at the intercollegiate varsity level. There are 86 NCAA Division I institutions that offer women’s rugby. Next season, 10 of them will be at the full varsity level: Eastern Illinois (2002), West Chester (2004), Bowdoin (2004), Norwich (2008), Quinnipiac (2010), Davenport (2013), Harvard (2013), Brown (2014), Life University (2014) and Central Washington University (2014).

“It is an honor and a great opportunity to coach a nationally competitive team that is emerging as a full varsity program,” Flores said. “Rugby for women is growing rapidly and has a very bright future, and Brown University is going to remain a strong presence as the sport matures.”