WSJ on Yormark and the Big 12

Brett Yormark began his tenure as Big 12 commissioner by saying he wanted the conference to be “younger, hipper, cooler.” Hipness is hard to quantify, but there is one thing about his vision for the Big 12 that is easier to put a number on.

“I don’t strive to be No. 3,” Yormark said in an interview. “But if I was No. 3 and everything was working, we had great alignment, we were increasing revenue, we became a truly national conference and we’re on the consciousness of future student athletes…. Yeah, I could sleep well at night.”

Yormark’s vision for the league isn’t just to be a basketball powerhouse or a formidable football conference, it’s to be a cultural phenomenon. It’s a nod to his background: he was a marketing executive for NASCAR before becoming president and chief executive of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment Global, where he oversaw the NBA’s Nets move to Brooklyn and subsequent rebranding. Notably, a stopover in college athletics wasn’t a part of Yormark’s résumé.

Yormark insists that the dollar figure will go up, but didn’t specify whether that will be in total or on a per-school basis given the Big 12’s expanding membership. The Big 12 doesn’t enter an exclusive negotiating window with its current partners until February 2024, but people familiar say Yormark is eager to project stability by providing members with a dollar figure well before then.


Thank you for posting. Nice to see the wsj pay attention to us. All publicity is good publicity.


I like the part about cultural phenomenon. I think there’s a lot of things to try to raise the conference profile. Like, can you imagine a “Heisman House” series of commercials with Big 12 athletes? Like work with Lowe’s or Ace Hardware and the players are doing a Habitat for Humanity type project. Advertising both Lowe’s and the conference.

That’s just a thought but you get the idea. Use NIL not just to help the athletes make money but to raise their profile and the profile of their conference.

It seems like if anyone is to put something like that together, Yormark is a good guy for it.


Cultural phenomenon? At least Commissioner Yormark has lofty goals.

Isn’t it an oxymoron to refer to Kansas and Iowa as “cultural phenomenon?”

Wow! I love Yormark’s vision. Thanks for the share, @parialex !

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I love the tenacity and bold vision. I’m wondering about sports betting more and more. How does that come about? Anyone have a thought on it?

Apparently that is why the nfl is so popular and draws such big ratings. If the Big XII were to tap the ratings then that could be huge for future media money.

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From what we have seen from Ymark so far, the kind of exposure in his business plan needs Week 1 to bowl season B12 weekday games on multiple networks.

Is he thinking weds/thurs/friday x2 schedule of weekly games is the question.

I like the idea but the so/so B12 teams will have few saturday B12 games.

Spin it anyway you want to being third is about as good as it gets.
On the bright side the Big 12 should be very competitive in all sports other than football.
Fact is we will be losing our two blue blood members when Whorn and OU move on in football…
We will be fine

He can do it with Fox, establish the culture, the brand and create a College Game Day for B12 with Fox.

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Well, the new media rights number is rumored to be 29 million, up from 28 million. This number is nothing to write home about in terms of growth for the existing members. However, knowing that the Big XII is losing members and has new ones due in, it may be the best case scenario for the Big XII to extend for a few years at current rates. Just get to the next deal and build the brand. That way you can capitalize on what’s being built and potentially raid other leagues on the next go-round.

All of this is exciting, but we won’t know the results until next year or, really, 2025. I hope Yormack is the real deal and the outcome works out so that the XII gets big money.

Any chance the deals can be renegotiated if the XII goes to XVI?

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