Lehigh Athletics Selects Learfield Sports as First Multimedia Rights Partner
For the first time in school history, Lehigh University will outsource its athletic multimedia rights to Learfield Sports. The multi-year agreement with Learfield will coincide with the start of the 2016-17 athletic season, allowing the collegiate marketer to begin assembling its local Lehigh Sports Properties team immediately.
“This is a milestone day for Lehigh Athletics, to be able to leverage the opportunities inherent in the way we conduct intercollegiate athletics with Learfield’s outstanding reputation and proven track record,” saidJoe Sterrett, Murray H. Goodman Dean of Athletics at Lehigh. “We’re excited for this opportunity to grow our external relationships in partnership with a national leader that has a defined presence in the Northeast and represents storied institutions nationwide.”
Learfield’s Lehigh Sports Properties will be located on campus to collaborate daily with the athletic administration. Andrew Papaefthemiou will serve as general manager, overseeing all aspects of the Mountain Hawks’ rights including signage, corporate hospitality, digital, television, radio, event sponsorships, on-site activation, and integration and visibility for corporate partners on the official athletics website, LehighSports.com.
Papaefthemiou has been with Learfield since 2013, most recently as manager-business development cultivating business relationships and selling corporate partnerships for Learfield partners Seton Hall and the Patriot League. He also is a former assistant basketball coach for five collegiate programs in the Northeast/New England area and was a lecturer/adjunct professor at three of those schools. Papaefthemiou, who played basketball for Keene State College and received his master’s degree from New England College, will transition into the Lehigh GM role on Jan. 4, 2016.
Learfield’s National Sales team complements the efforts of Lehigh Sports Properties and may provide opportunities for inclusion in larger platforms across multiple collegiate properties. Other area schools represented by Learfield include Bucknell, Drexel, Penn, Penn State and Temple. Learfield also handles rights for Army West Point, as well as for the Patriot League. Its digital company, SIDEARM Sports, is the platform provider for the university’s official athletic website, LehighSports.com, and the Mountain Hawks’ brand is overseen by Learfield Licensing Partners.
“The Lehigh name has incredible value, and we’re pleased for the opportunity to work alongside Joe and his team to capitalize on the Mountain Hawks’ rich history and bright future,” said Learfield President and CEO Greg Brown. “Andrew has done great work for us the last few years. He not only knows the region well, but brings value from being inside athletics at several area schools and as a former student-athlete. We’re excited to get going.”