Closing Bell

Warren bullish on Big Ten's dive into data

By David Rumsey

Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren believes the conference’s new sports data and analytics department will help foster a better relationship with its fans, saying “it was time” to start innovating. “Data, analytics, research is king right now,” Warren said today from the Learfield Intercollegiate Athletics Forum. “And there's so much more that we can do in the collegiate space from a fan activation standpoint -- knowing about our fans, being able to target them from a marketing standpoint, opportunity to increase revenues.” Warren: “Just to be able to provide better communication information. So, this is one of those projects … I am really excited about.”

The new department is just one of many ways the Big Ten is preparing for media rights negations for contracts that are set to expire in ’23. Warren said that prep began about six months ago. “I feel very good, very fortunate, very blessed where we are in the overall market,” he said, referencing lucrative deals in the pro realm like the recent NFL and EPL agreements. Warren: “One good thing about COVID is the fact it reiterated the point of how much people love live sports.”

Warren today also vouched for opening up media rights to the CFP should it expand. He said he wanted to "make sure that we open it up to multiple media partners." Warren: "That's the right thing to do because ... that helps to be able to carry the message for forward." He said ESPN deserves "to be involved," but there are "so many people who want to carry college football forward."

See a full roundup of various commissioners' comments from Las Vegas in SBJ's Commissioners' Corner

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