JP and Raycom merge with Lincoln National Corp.
April 20, 2006

Jefferson Pilot Sports and partner Raycom Sports this past week merged with Lincoln National Corporation, the parent company of the Lincoln Financial Group of companies. The tradition of Atlantic Coast Conference sports television coverage will under a new name - Lincoln Financial Sports.

As most Tech and ACC fans know, Jefferson Pilot has been the ACC's basketball broadcast rights holder for the past 24 years, and has televised ACC football regionally for the past 23 years. Jefferson Pilot's association with the league goes all the way back to 1957 when Jefferson Standard Life and Pilot Life were the first commercial sponsors of ACC basketball on television.

The merger to form Lincoln Financial Sports simply means business as usual for league members, student-athletes and fans. There are no plans in the works to change personnel, format or policies.

"I think we were attractive to them for a lot of reasons," said Jimmy Rayburn, Vice-President of Operations and Executive Producer for Jefferson Pilot Sports (now Lincoln Financial Sports). "Lincoln Financial didn't have anything like us within their company. They didn't have a communications arm and they weren't involved with sports. This is a way for them to get their name and their brand out there, and they might sell more of their products down the road.

"Plus, we have a good cash flow. We make money and we're in good markets. So this is a business arrangement that is going to help everyone."

Since joining the ACC, Virginia Tech's football games have been on the Jefferson Pilot network three times. Twelve basketball games have been on the network, including five this past season.