ATLANTA, Dec. 14, 2011 // PRNewswire // -- Aaron's, Inc. (NYSE: AAN), a lease-to-own retailer specializing in the sales and lease ownership of residential furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories, has entered into a multi-year agreement with IMG College to sponsor athletic programs at 30 top universities across the nation. Aaron's sponsorship commitment in activating across dozens of schools is one of the most significant national partnerships in college sports and considerably expands the Company's reach to universities and the fans that support them.
The agreement includes Aaron's signage at football and basketball venues, promotional rights and tickets. Aaron's is also designated as the preferred vendor in the lease-to-own category of furniture, electronics, appliances and computers.
The IMG College partnership strengthens Aaron's long-standing college sports marketing portfolio. In addition to a multi-year sponsorship of the Southeastern Conference, Aaron's also has existing relationships with the University of Alabama, Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Missouri, University of North Carolina and University of Texas.
"While Aaron's has a long history with collegiate sports, this is the first time the Company has formed a university partnership of this magnitude," said Tom Peterson, Aaron's VP of Marketing. "Our customers are fans of college sports, and this agreement provides us with a platform to reach millions of existing and potential Aaron's shoppers through 30 premier college athletic programs across the United States."
According to Peterson, an expanded sponsorship of college sports aligns with the Aaron's business model, which offers students, faculty and fans home essentials with flexible payment options.
"The university audience is an important target for Aaron's on several levels," Peterson continued. "For example, current students and recent graduates on their own for the first time can gain independence when they open a lease agreement at Aaron's. We never check credit and offer affordable payment plans, which allows young adults to learn the responsibility of making monthly payments without the risk of ruining their fragile credit. Additionally, Aaron's continues to be a desirable career option for the many students and graduates seeking employment in a tough economy. We are one of the few retailers in the country that is rapidly expanding and hiring new employees, and our more than 1,900 locations across the country offer a multitude of both managerial and entrepreneurial opportunities."
"College sports continue to grow in popularity and corporate support," said Roger VanDerSnick, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer for IMG College. "We're thrilled Aaron's is partnering with IMG College to utilize our new national platform to expand its brand in collegiate athletics, activate at dozens of universities coast to coast, and reach the 173 million Americans who follow college sports."
The IMG College sponsorship package includes partnerships with the University of Arkansas, University of Arizona, Arizona State University, Auburn University, Baylor University, Brigham Young University, University of Cincinnati, Clemson University, University of Connecticut, Duke University, University of Florida, Florida State University, University of Houston, Kansas University, University of Kentucky, University of Michigan, University of Nebraska, Ohio State University, University of Oregon, University of Pittsburgh, University of South Carolina, University of Tennessee, Texas Christian University, University of Georgia, University of Miami, University of Nevada-Las Vegas, Villanova University, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, University of Washington and Washington State University.
Aaron's, Inc. (NYSE: AAN), the nation's leader in the sales and lease ownership and specialty retailing of residential furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories, has more than 1,904 Company-operated and franchised stores in 48 states and Canada. Founded in 1955 by entrepreneur R. Charles Loudermilk, Sr. and headquartered in Atlanta, Aaron's has been publicly traded since 1982. For more information, visit www.aarons.com.
IMG College is the leading multimedia, marketing and licensing/brand management company in America representing more than 200 of the nation's top collegiate properties including the NCAA and its 88 championships, NCAA Football, leading conferences, and many of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the country. Headquartered in Winston Salem, N.C., IMG College employs 700 people in nearly 100 offices throughout the U.S. with annual sales of nearly $450 million. IMG College is the leader in capturing consumer devotion to college sports through partnership opportunities in multimedia rights, licensing, events and hospitality, marketing, stadium and arena development, stadium seating solutions, ticketing, sales, and consulting. IMG College produces nearly 30,000 hours of radio programming on the largest sports network in the country, manages nearly 5,000 hours of local television programming, is the leading publisher of college sports publications, and is the largest manager of university athletic websites. IMG College is a division of IMG Worldwide, a global sports, fashion and media business. For more information, please visit www.imgworld.com
SOURCE Aaron's, Inc.
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