CHARLOTTE, N.C., May 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Belk, the nation's largest family owned and operated department store company, today announced its official sponsorship of the Southeastern Conference and the SEC Network, a new multiplatform national network devoted to the conference and operated by ESPN.
With the new relationship, Belk will be the official retail department store of the SEC, giving the company exclusive access to all SEC championship events, including the SEC FanFare events held annually in conjunction with the SEC Football Championship Game and Men's Basketball Tournament. The new deal also gives Belk prime exposure on the forthcoming SEC Network, which will launch August 14, 2014 from the ESPN studios in Charlotte, N.C. The new network and its accompanying digital platforms will air SEC content 24/7 including more than 1,000 events in its first year.
"Our six-year collaboration with the SEC Network will build upon the success we've seen with the Belk Bowl," says Jon Pollack, Belk's executive vice president of marketing, sales promotion and eCommerce. "We know that collegiate sports are an important part of the Southern lifestyle, and we are excited to further deepen our relationships with ESPN and the Southeastern Conference."
"Belk's support for the SEC Network combined with our cross-platform coverage will help us provide each of the 14 schools with unparalleled exposure across all local markets," said Ed Erhardt, president of global customer marketing and sales at ESPN.
The SEC Network will air 45 college football games, more than 100 men's basketball games, 60 women's basketball games, 75 baseball games and events from across the SEC's 21 sports annually. Programming will also include an array of daily studio shows providing in-depth commentary and original content such as the SEC Storied series. AT&T U-verse, DISH, Google Fiber and NRTC have agreed to carry the network.
The SEC Network
The Southeastern Conference and ESPN have signed a 20-year agreement through 2034 to create and operate a multiplatform network which will launch August 14, 2014. The new network and its accompanying digital platform will air SEC content 24/7 including more than 1,000 events in its first year. The network will televise approximately 45 SEC football games, more than 100 men's basketball games, 60 women's basketball games, 75 baseball games, and events from across the SEC's 21 sports annually. Programming will also include studio shows, original content such as SEC Storied, spring football games, signing day and pro days coverage. Hundreds of additional live events from various sports will be offered exclusively on the digital platform. AT&T U-Verse, DISH, Google Fiber and National Rural Telecommunications cooperative (NRTC) have agreed to carry the SEC Network as of this date.
About Belk, Inc.
Charlotte, N.C.-based Belk, Inc. (www.belk.com) is the nation's largest family owned and operated department store company with 300 Belk stores located in 16 Southern states and a growing digital presence. Its belk.com website offers a wide assortment of national brands and private label fashion apparel, shoes and accessories for the entire family along with top name cosmetics, a wedding registry and a large selection of quality merchandise for the home. Founded in 1888 by William Henry Belk in Monroe, N.C., the company is in the third generation of Belk family leadership and has been committed to community involvement since its inception. In the fiscal year ended Feb. 1, 2014, the company and its associates, customers and vendors donated more than $20.9 million to communities within Belk market areas.
Belk offers many ways to connect via digital and social media, including Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, Google Plus and Belk Blog, and provides exclusive offers, fashion updates, sales notifications and coupons via email or mobile phone text messages. Customers can also download the latest Belk mobile apps for the iPad, iPhone or Android.
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SOURCE Belk, Inc.
For further information: Amy Phillips, ESPN, Amy.Phillips@espn.com, 646.547.5614, Ana Livia Coelho, ESPN, AnaLivia.C.Coelho@espn.com, 646.547.5778, Jessica Graham, Belk, Jessica_graham@belk.com; 704.426.8333