University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) Partners with Van Wagner for Exclusive Multimedia Rights Agreement

May 15, 2023

University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) Partners with Van Wagner for Exclusive Multimedia Rights Agreement featured image

CHICAGO – The University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) Department of Athletics announced today a 10-year partnership with Van Wagner to serve as the department’s exclusive corporate sponsorship and multimedia rights partner and sales agent.

Van Wagner, an industry leader in corporate sponsorship and multimedia rights, will focus on increasing revenues, elevating the Flames Athletics brand in Chicago and nationally through strategic partnerships, and enhancing the fan experience. Van Wagner will negotiate and manage all corporate sponsorships, sales and multimedia elements, including broadcast rights, digital advertising, premium signage, social media, game day partnerships and additional marketing and promotional assets. The company already represents dozens of colleges, universities, and athletic conferences across the country.

“We are excited to launch our strategic relationship with Van Wagner this year,” said Director of Athletics Michael Lipitz. “As a proven leader in college sports, the company will help us generate additional revenues to further invest in our 300 student-athletes and 18 varsity sports.”

Brian Willner, who brings over 20 years of corporate partnerships sales experience in the Chicago area, will lead the partnership as Van Wagner’s General Manager at UIC. Van Wagner President Mike Palisi expressed his enthusiasm for the partnership, highlighting the opportunity to work with the UIC Flames Athletics as they join the Missouri Valley Conference.

“We are thrilled to announce this long-term partnership with the UIC Flames. The opportunity to work with Director of Athletics Michael Lipitz, Deputy Athletics Director Frank Cuervo, and the entire Flames Athletics family during this transformational time, as a member of the Missouri Valley Conference, is truly an honor,” said Mike Palisi, President of Van Wagner College.

The 2022-23 academic year is UIC’s first as a member of the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC), and they are one of two MVC schools partnered with Van Wagner.


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About UIC Athletics
The UIC Department of Athletics supports 18 NCAA Division I sports programs comprised of 300 student-athletes and 85 coaches and staff.

Since earning Division I status in 1981, UIC has amassed 75 conference championships and made 47 NCAA postseason appearances. In addition, 20 Flames have achieved All-America status, 83 have earned recognition as Player of the Year, and 55 coaches have been honored as Coach of the Year. Flames student-athletes have achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher for 17-consecutive semesters and boast a 93% graduation rate.

The Flames compete in the Missouri Valley Conference, a league that features 12 public and private institutions that each have impressive academic reputations as well as storied traditions of broad-based athletic programs.

About Van Wagner
Van Wagner is a wholly owned subsidiary of Van Wagner Group LLC that creates, advises, and sells on behalf of world-class teams, leagues, brands, properties, and colleges. An innovator in the sports and media business, Van Wagner is a global leader in high-impact broadcast visible signage throughout the MLB, NBA, NCAA, and the highest levels of international soccer, sponsorships sales, premium ticketing, college multi-media rights, and in-venue content production at the world’s biggest sporting events.

About UIC
UIC stands alone as Chicago’s largest institution and only public research university. The 50,000 members of the campus community and the more than 325,000 living alumni embody the pride and spirit of our great city. We are, and will always remain, For Chicago