CHICAGO: The Big Ten Conference has selected Weber Shandwick as its PR agency partner to help the collegiate sports league with communications initiatives as it expands.
Weber will work with the conference, which was founded in 1896, as it incorporates the University of Maryland and Rutgers University into its ranks next year.
Representatives from the Interpublic Group agency and the Big Ten declined to comment on the agency hire.
James Delany, Big Ten commissioner, said in a statement that the conference was “impressed with the strategy, creativity, and overall approach that Weber brought to the table, and we look forward to working with them.”
The conference now consists of 12 universities. Its members are the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, Indiana University, the University of Iowa, the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, the University of Minnesota, the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Northwestern University, Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, Purdue University, and the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
The Big Ten is the third major collegiate sports conference to hire a PR firm in recent months. In January, the Big 12 Conference selected LDWW Group, the firm founded by former Hill+Knowlton Strategies COO Ken Luce, as AOR. It previously worked with H+K.
Last month, the former Big East Conference hired Ketchum as its agency partner as it planned to restructure and rename itself the American Athletic Conference. The so-called “Catholic 7” basketball-only schools that left that conference will continue to use the “Big East” name.