Fans heading to this year’s Big Ten football championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium—or watching the game on television—will notice a new look to the event this year thanks to a major new sponsorship announced this week.
The Big Ten and Big Ten Network signed a multi-year deal making credit card Discover its first presenting sponsor of the game, which has been held in Indianapolis since its first year in 2011.
This year’s game will be played Dec. 2 and air nationally on Fox-TV.
As “official credit card” of the game and conference, Discover will have a massive presence at the event—both at the stadium and on TV. The Discover logo will be incorporated into the game’s logo, which will appear on the Lucas Oil Stadium field and in the telecast.
Discover will be allowed to promote itself through kiosks and informational booths at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The deal goes far beyond the championship football game, making it even more lucrative for the conference.
The deal includes TV advertising not only during the championship game in Indianapolis but also during televised regular-season conference games on Fox, FS1 and the Big Ten Network. Discover will be promoted during in-game features.
As part of the deal, Discover will have a presence at all Big Ten championship sporting events and will also be incorporated into the conference’s digital and social media advertising campaigns.
Though terms were not disclosed, a sports marketer familiar with such deals told IBJ that Discover is now likely the biggest sponsor involved in the game and rates as one of the conference’s three biggest sponsors overall.
Other major Big Ten sponsors include ArcelorMittal, Athletico, Bayer, Dr. Pepper, Gatorade, Intercall, Libman, Meijer, Nike, Rawlings, Shell, Spalding, Sunkist, Taco John's, T-Mobile, Valvoline and Vivid Seats.
The deal’s value is estimated in the high seven-figure range over the term of the deal. None of that money is likely to flow to the host site of the championship football game, but instead will stay with the conference and its network.
Vijay Konduru, Discover's vice president of media and sponsorships, called the deal “an opportunity for Discover to meaningfully connect with one of the most passionate and dedicated fan and alumni bases in the country.”