Samford Director of Athletics Martin Newton announced July 1 the creation of Samford Sports Properties (SSP), a new multi-media marketing division of Samford Athletics. Additionally, Newton highlighted the signing of its first partnership, a multi-year radio agreement with Birmingham's Cumulus Media stations 99.5 The Vibe and AM 690 The Fan.
"The success of our overall athletics mission depends greatly on the exposure we create for our coaches and student-athletes and the financial resources we provide for them," said Newton. "The creation of Samford Sports Properties and our partnership with Cumulus Media positions us to meet those needs in a new and powerful way."
Beginning this fall, Samford football and men's basketball will be heard on WZRR-FM 99.5 The Vibe, the 100,000-watt signal that serves as Birmingham's home for "Today's Hottest Music".
Additionally, the newly-rebranded "Inside Samford Sports" radio show will air weekly on Cumulus Media's WJOX-AM 690 The Fan and will feature coaches Pat Sullivan and Bennie Seltzer, as well as other Bulldog coaches, players, and special guests. The show is scheduled to debut this fall and will be broadcast live on Mondays from 12-1 p.m.
"We are extremely excited to be working with Samford for the next several years," said John J. Walker, regional vice president and market manager for Cumulus Birmingham. "It is a natural fit to add the university to our Cumulus family since we are the South's broadcast leader in college athletics."
With the announcement, Samford athletics will expand its strong radio presence throughout the Birmingham area, as both the FM 99.5 and AM 690 signals reach most of northern Alabama from Montgomery to Huntsville and stretch state-line to state-line from Mississippi to Georgia.
The Cumulus Media partnership will also allow for a range of marketing and promotional opportunities with WJOX-FM 94.5, one of the top sports stations in the nation and Birmingham's sports authority for more than 20 years. Additionally, Samford University's owned-and-operated WVSU 91.1 FM will continue to serve as the broadcast home for Samford women's basketball and baseball.
Director of Samford Sports Properties Mike Grace will return for his seventh year as executive producer of the Samford Sports Network and "Voice of the Bulldogs", while Scot Harrison, co-host of the Matt and Scot Spectacular on Cumulus Media's WJOX-FM 94.5, joins the broadcast crew as color commentator for football broadcasts and men's basketball home games. Sports Information Director Zac Schrieber returns for his second season as analyst for Bulldog basketball road games.
Broadcast veteran David McDaniel returns to the Samford Sports Network for his third season as on-site host and sideline reporter for football games, and will start his second season as the "Voice of Samford Women's Basketball".
As a division of Samford Athletics, Samford Sports Properties will manage the multi-media rights for the Samford University Athletic Department. Under the direction of Associate Director of Athletics for Samford Sports Properties Bo Kerr, SSP will be responsible for the growth and development of the Samford Sports Network, which includes the department's radio programming and its online video service, SamfordSportsTV, and the official website of Samford University athletics, www.samfordsports.com.
The SSP management team will oversee the sales and fulfillment of all marketing and sponsorship opportunities related to Samford Athletics, including radio, live streaming video, internet presence, in-stadium signage, video board exposure, print projects including game programs, in-game and on-site promotions, event sponsorships and corporate hospitality.
"Bo Kerr and Mike Grace bring more than 45 years of sales, marketing and broadcasting experience to our department," said Senior Associate Director of Athletics for External Affairs Marvin Julich. "Their ability to establish mutually-beneficial partnerships with the corporate community will benefit our coaches and student-athletes for years to come, and ultimately, that's why we're here."
For detailed information on future Samford Sports Network broadcast schedules and the latest news from Samford Athletics, visit the official online home for all 17 Bulldog teams at www.samfordsports.com.