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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- A historic year for Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics has extended to Penn State Sports Properties, which has been awarded Learfield's National Property of the Year for 2016-17.
Penn State Sports Properties, Learfield's local management team for the multimedia and sponsorship rights at Penn State Athletics, was awarded Property of the Year at the company's annual awards show, the CLYDES, recently held in Grapevine, Texas.
The CLYDES, named after Learfield founder Clyde Lear, honor top performances across multiple categories for the past sales year. The Property of the Year Award is one of the most important awards of the year and went to different Learfield on-campus teams across four revenue divisions, with Penn State Sports Properties (PSSP) selected as the winner in the largest category based on annual sponsorship revenue dollars.
"PSSP/Learfield has been a tremendous partner for Intercollegiate Athletics dating back to 2005, said Tom Mcgrath, Associate Athletic Director for Business Relations. "Penn State Sports Properties has had tremendous success in aligning Penn State Athletics with many successful and powerful brands, several of which are Pennsylvania-based companies. The resources available through this relationship provide strong opportunities for our 800 student-athletes competing in 31 sports as they pursue their education and prepare for a lifetime of impact. Doug (Nelson) and his team are great partners and we are so pleased for them to receive this important recognition."
"Penn State Sports Properties has had tremendous success in aligning Penn State Athletics with many successful and powerful brands, several of which are Pennsylvania-based companies."
Tom Mcgrath, Associate AD for Business Relations
"We are honored to be recognized amongst our peers across the company as the Property of the Year," said Doug Nelson, Penn State Sports Properties General Manager. "This is a testament to our collective efforts together between Penn State Sports Properties and our daily collaboration with Penn State Athletics administration. We are proud to embody and carry out the vision of (Director of Athletics) Sandy Barbour and her team on a daily basis, and proud to be part of the Penn State Athletics team."
As Penn State Athletics' exclusive multimedia rights holder, PSSP manages all aspects of the rights relationship, providing corporate partners both traditional and new media opportunities with the university in which to bolster their own brand and garner maximum exposure through such inventory as venue signage; event sponsorships and promotion; corporate hospitality; radio and television; digital engagement and visibility via the official athletics website GoPSUsports.com.
Learfield manages rights for nearly 125 collegiate institutions, conferences and arenas nationwide and has been an industry leader for more than four decades. The Penn State award is a noteworthy win for the team, and one team member, Manager-Business Development Matt Craig, also was honored as one of 14 employees across the country named to Learfield's exclusive Chairman's Club for top sales activity. Craig also was nominated for company Rookie of the Year, while Nelson was nominated for Coach (Manager) of the Year.
General Manager Nelson leads Learfield's PSSP operation. Other team members include: Charles Nieves - Director of Business Development; Tim Bordner -- Associate General Manager; Matt Craig -- Manager of Business Development; Dan Solomon -- Manager of Business Development; Jason Frandi -- Manager of Business Development; Jeff Tarman -- Director of Broadcast Operations and Meiling Chao and Sarah Lynch, who are Coordinators of Partnership Services.
Penn State has one of the nation's most comprehensive and successful athletic programs, sponsoring 31 intercollegiate varsity programs (16 men's and 15 women's), with approximately 800 student-athletes. Penn State student-athletes earned a Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 89 percent in the 2016 NCAA Graduation Rate Report, continuing a rate well above their peers nationwide. A school record 114 student-athletes graduated earlier this month. The Nittany Lions rank No. 4 among all Division I schools with 195 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans all-time.
The Nittany Lions' 49 NCAA Championships all-time (77 national championships overall) rank No. 5 among all NCAA Division I programs and are the highest total of any college or university east of the Mississippi River. Penn State's 30 NCAA titles since 1992-93 leads all Big Ten Conference institutions. The Nittany Lions have won 104 Big Ten Championships since capturing their first crown in 1992-93, including seven in 2016-17, Penn State's third-highest total in its 25 years of Big Ten competition. The Nittany Lions have won nine conference championships overall this year.