One of the nation’s biggest telecommunications companies is betting that college sports will keep it connected to consumers.
AT&T will remain a top-tier sponsor of NCAA athletic events through the 2024-2025 academic year, having signed a deal to extend its pact with the massive college-sports league. AT&T has been an NCAA “corporate champion” since 2001, and unveils the extension just as the NCAA’s 2023 “March Madness” basketball tournament is kicking off.
“We love the audience size,” says Kellyn Kenny, chief marketing and growth officer of AT&T, in an interview, speaking of the basketball championship event. “It does a really nice job of attracting an audience that is fairly diverse — it’s young, it’s GenZ, and has a bunch of business decision makers.”
AT&T will weave itself into the proceedings with efforts that help consumers understand how its technology helps their enjoyment of the games. Fans who attend may be able to take part in pre-game concerts the telecom giant sponsors, and viewers at home will be made to understand how AT&T’s 5G technology helps them see the contests through unique camera angles.
“We want to make sure we are showing up in ways that fans will enjoy, but also in ways that showcase the technology,” says Kenny. “We don’t’ want to just put our logo on something. We want to make sure that we move way beyond the logo into the experience.”
AT&T will also work to drive parity between women’s and men’s sports, aligning this year with WNBA star A’ja Wilson to persuade US companies to fill out women’s and men’s brackets.
The company will serve as a presenting sponsor of all Championship apps and support several DE&I initiatives, among other efforts. Financial terms of the pact were not disclosed.