The Sun Belt’s partnership with ESPN was revamped in 2018 and is the most significant and extensive multimedia rights agreement in conference history.

About The Sun Belt Conference

With each passing season, the Sun Belt Conference continues to challenge itself, and its competitors, in all aspects of intercollegiate athletics. Not content with being simply the youngest football conference in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision, the conference has shown that it can rise each and every season that comes along.  Since the birth of the league as a FBS member league in 2001, the evidence is clear that the conference is indeed rising above competitors and peer conferences.

At no time has league athletic success been more obvious than during the course of the last several football seasons. In recent years, Sun Belt members have participated in as many as six bowl games, a 50 percent increase in the league’s former high-water mark and only a decade removed from a “one-bowl league” moniker in its formative years.

The Sun Belt has earned due respect in the FBS over the last several years by consistently beating teams from peer conferences, winning bowl games and upsetting Power Five teams.  In fact, the 2018 football season was direct evidence of the Sun Belt’s success as the conference broke its record for non-conference wins in a single season. The 24 total wins eclipsed the previous mark of 22 set in 2016. Additionally, the Sun Belt’s 21 regular season non-conference wins broke the record of 19 that was set in 2013. The Sun Belt also had the best non-conference winning percentage of any Group of Five Conference this past season.

The Sun Belt’s partnership with ESPN was revamped in 2018 and is the most significant and extensive multimedia rights agreement in conference history.  Highlights of the contract include that: a minimum of 500 events a year will appear on an ESPN platform beginning in 2020-21 and that, every Sun Belt football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball game will be viewable on an ESPN platform. It was also announced that, linear network football games at Sun Belt home venues will expand to a minimum of 10 games a year on a combination of ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU, that all Sun Belt Championship events will be viewable on an ESPN platform each academic year that will give exposure to all 18 conference sports and that digital productions will expand to include regular-season competition in Sun Belt sports that have received only limited coverage previously.

The Sun Belt Conference and the Cure Bowl also partnered in benefiting the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF).  Sun Belt schools participated in Pink Saturday games and displayed specially designed pink Sun Belt Kicks Cancer kicking nets on their home sideline during games throughout the month of October.

The Sun Belt Conference and the College Football Playoff Foundation annually partner to recognize teachers through the CFP Foundation’s Extra Yard for Teachers platform.  Each Sun Belt football-playing institution received a $10,000 grant from the CFP Foundation to use in their respective local communities to recognize teachers for their hard work and dedication and to provide classroom supplies and professional development resources.

The conference is currently comprised of 12 institutions – Appalachian State, Little Rock, Arkansas State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Louisiana, ULM, South Alabama, UTA, Texas State and Troy – and competes in the FBS as a 10-team league. Little Rock and UTA are full Sun Belt members in all sports other than football. The league also have two associate members in men’s soccer, Central Arkansas and Howard.

The mix of members also gives the league vitality and diversity across the South. The mix of regions and cultures provides a rare opportunity for student-athletes and staffers to experience many environments and the chance to experience that diversity without leaving their own campuses.

Many individuals from Sun Belt institutions have brought distinction to their alma maters, and not just in athletics. For every All-Pro linebacker DeMarcus Ware (Troy) and NFL Man of the Year Charles Tillman (Louisiana), world ranked golfer and US Open winner Dustin Johnson (Coastal Carolina) and for every World Series MVP David Freese (South Alabama) hailing from Sun Belt schools, there are also U.S. presidents (Lyndon Johnson, Texas State), business icons (Chick-fil-A president Daniel Cathy, Georgia Southern) and nationally known entertainers (Ludacris, Georgia State; Tim McGraw, ULM and George Strait, Texas State).

These proud alumni, as well as those who represent the dozen league institutions, are proof that the Sun Belt Conference is a league of excitement, a league of opportunity and one that continues to provide the promise of success with each new day.


The Teams of The Sun Belt Conference

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