Previously, I shared the idea that athletic directors and/or other leaders should know their value so they can make the best decision for their school or department’s future. I focused part of that on the idea of taking certain rights that have been historically outsourced, back in-house. If a department decided to pursue this and effectively executed the change, they would certainly earn more revenue in the long term than what they otherwise would have expected from a third party relationship. I received significant follow up so I wanted to share more thoughts in the effort of furthering the discussion. 

First, every school has too many unique factors going into such a decision by an athletic department or athletic director to discuss all of them here. Broadly applied, this theory holds true. 

The main idea is this: Know your value. 

The importance of knowing what you are worth has become paramount. As athletic departments and other university stakeholder groups consider different options for supporting or operating for the many areas they oversee (ticket sales, sponsorship, licensing, donor gifts, etc.), it is essential to know what a department can expect from each area. For example, in the area of sponsorships, an athletic director can count on a guaranteed rights fee annually from a rights holder. In the world of tickets, a different financial model may be in place, or another model in another area. All of these areas can become more and more difficult for a school to manage and again supports the theory to know your value.

The easiest way to think about this is like a real estate appraiser. For example, when you sell your house, you typically get an appraisal. Some states even require it by law. The appraisal includes specifics for your house plus benchmarking against other homes in the neighborhood to give you a good idea of the price at which you can sell your home. Understanding your value and the value of those around you will better enable you to maximize value from your next agreement. 

As we see in the current landscape of college athletics, it is sometimes easier to count on a guarantee and if you choose that path, you’ll want to make sure you maximize that guarantee. Admitting some departments will continue to outsource and some won’t, I’d ask them all one question: Do you know what you are worth? 

If you need help answering that question, hire an expert – Navigate Research – to help you with the valuation. During negotiations, the one thing you control is information so you should be armed with supporting data and insights to help you optimize your value. Having this research simply puts you on equal footing with the potential buyers and gives you support during the negotiations.