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SEC Football as Business Model: Forbes

Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive, right, speaks in front of a large collection of SEC coaches during a news conference announcing the launching of the Southeastern Conference Network in partnership with ESPN, Thursday, May 2, in Atlanta. The network will produce 1,000 live events each year, including 450 televised on the network and 550 distributed digitally.

Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive, right, speaks in front of a large collection of SEC coaches during a news conference announcing the launching of the Southeastern Conference Network in partnership with ESPN, Thursday, May 2, in Atlanta. The network will produce 1,000 live events each year, including 450 televised on the network and 550 distributed digitally.

AP Photo/John Amis

“What happens when you take a group of rival institutions, each with their own staffs of hundreds of employees and operating on budgets in excess of $100 million and convince them to work together as one cohesive unit?” asks Jason Belzer in the opening of a feature appearing July 29 in Forbes magazine. And then he answers: “You create what is arguably the single most successful collegiate sports organization of all time — the Southeastern Conference (SEC).”

Belzer notes that SEC teams have won not only seven national football championships in a row, but also 86 NCAA titles in 21 sports in the past 10 years, while drawing more than 7 million fans.

Belzer goes on to look at the conference in terms of management strategies that allowed it to work well together and restrict its competitive nature to the playing field.

Look for the story on forbes.com.

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