“This took a lot of nerve, a lot of partnership with the presidents and a lot of savvy to get us to a point to where we’re adding these three incredible brands in a really positive way for the existing membership financially, athletically. For the long-term stability of the ACC, this is a really good step forward.”
The ACC will now have 18 members, 17 of whom will be part of the league in football, up from its current state of 15 (14 in football) where it had sat since Louisville joined the league in 2014. Tech has been a member of the conference since 1979.
Cabrera said the additions of Cal and Stanford, both more than 2,400 miles from Tech’s campus, and SMU, “add terrific value to the conference, and I want to highlight that they really are very well-aligned with our values. These are top brands that value academic accomplishments and research as much as they also want to be competitive on the field. Really, really excited about that.”
Cabrera and Batt did not broach the subject of the particulars of the ACC’s decision to expand. But ESPN has reported that SMU agreed to possibly forego at least nine years of TV revenue to be considered a new ACC member and that Cal and Stanford may receive only a 30% share of future revenue payouts.
Those stipulations could create revenue upward of $60 million to be shared by the other current 15 members.
“I join (Batt) in recognizing Jim Phillips for all the work,” Cabrera said. “We’re 15 partners, and to get 15 people to agree on anything is not an easy task. (Phillips) handled this whole process great.”
The other big news for Tech in recent months was the Athletic Association’s partnership with Hyundai, namely the deal between Hyundai and the GTAA to rename its football facility as Bobby Dodd Stadium at Hyundai Field. That deal gives Tech $55 million over 20 years and, according to a person familiar with the situation, another $15 million-plus for other sponsorship arrangements.
Hyundai signage was being taken into Bobby Dodd Stadium on Wednesday, and Batt said there also will be Hyundai branding on the field inside the stadium in time for a 1 p.m. kickoff Saturday when the Yellow Jackets host South Carolina State. Hyundai also is the lead sponsor of the newly created Helluva Block Party, a pregame tailgating party outside the venue, which debuts Saturday morning.
Batt added a Hyundai vehicle will be craned into Bobby Dodd Stadium on Thursday to be prominently displayed in a corner of the stadium.