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The Score - Anthony Schoettle

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Sports Business

Indy sports licensing firm acquired by Texas behemoth

December 9, 2014
KEYWORDS Sports Business

Strategic Marketing Affiliates, an Indianapolis-based licensing firm that works with myriad colleges and their athletic departments, was recently acquired by Texas-based Learfield Sports.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

SMA’s 20 employees will join Learfield’s Licensing Resource Group. A Learfield official said SMA founder Bob Bernard will also be retained.

“[Bernard] is one of the most respected individuals in college athletics and so is his company,” Learfield President and CEO Greg Brown said in a statement. “He has been a partner of ours for years, and we are thrilled his company is now a part of our organization.”

Bernard said he wanted to join the Texas-based company after partnering with Learfield over a number of years. The acquisition will help both groups expand its capabilities and grow its business in the coming years, he added.

SMA, founded in 1997, provides colleges with licensing services, including trademark and brand management consulting.

SMA has dozens of clients—mostly small and mid-sized colleges—including the University of Indianapolis, Butler University and Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne.

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