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ACC Partners with FishBait


Greensboro, North Carolina (theACC.com) – The Atlantic Coast Conference announced today that FishBait Solutions will serve as the league’s Chief Revenue and Business Innovation Consultant. The partnership was formed by ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips and FishBait CEO Rob Temple, who will work closely with conference office staff and key institutional contacts to assist the conference in the areas of revenue generation and innovation opportunities.

FishBait will focus on a variety of projects intended to strategically identify and maximize revenue through new and existing partnerships as well as developing innovative solutions that drive value for ACC student-athletes, sponsored sports, member institutions and the entire conference enterprise. FishBait will also assist the conference office in maximizing opportunities with ACC Network.

The partnership is a continuation of the ACC’s strategic initiatives across a variety of areas including the league’s priority surrounding ACC Football, the ongoing conference office review and assessment, securing ACC Network full distribution (December 2021) and direct involvement in the future of college sports via Federal Legislation, NCAA Transformation Committee and College Football Playoff, among others.

Prior to today’s announcement, FishBait has participated in a number of introductory meetings including a presentation to the league’s Athletic Directors. Over the coming weeks, FishBait will have individual in-person meetings with each of the league’s 15 member schools and their respective leadership teams.

“FishBait brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to this partnership – including a deep love and appreciation for the ACC and its 15 world-class institutions,” said ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips, Ph.D. “The FishBait team, led by Rob Temple, is both uniquely qualified and positioned to strategically assist our league in the areas of revenue and business innovation. They understand the corporate and collegiate landscape and how we can work together to provide significant opportunities that will benefit the ACC’s nearly 10,000 student athletes and 27 sponsored sports.”

“The through-line of my career, certainly including my years at ESPN, has been college sports, with a laser focus on unlocking long-term value and revenue to everyone’s benefit,” said Rob Temple, CEO of FishBait Solutions. “As a company, we’re thrilled to be working with Commissioner Phillips and the ACC. And as a lifelong ACC fan – this one’s personal for me, and we couldn’t be more excited for what’s ahead.”


Rob Temple was named CEO of FishBait Solutions in January 2021, after 18 years at ESPN, and is a graduate of the University of North Carolina (1988). As former Senior Vice President and head of ESPN Sports Marketing, which included ESPN’s significant college sports portfolio, Temple oversaw numerous groundbreaking deals for properties such as ESPN College GameDay Built by The Home Depot and the College Football Playoff. Temple was most recently the Senior Vice President Programming & Acquisitions.

On point with Rob Temple will be Rick Chryst, a FishBait consultant and a longtime college sports insider who served as Commissioner of the Mid-American Conference, ACC Assistant Commissioner (1992-99) and attended both Notre Dame (1983) and is an honors graduate of Duke Law School (1989). Chryst is associated with Dietz Sports & Entertainment. Additionally, FishBait Chief Creative Officer Rick Jones and Senior Advisor to FishBait, Pete Derzis, will also be engaged in the ACC assignment.

FishBait clients include the College Football Playoff, ESPN Events (17 owned and operated bowl games, college basketball events, women’s softball and more), Bowl Season, the National Football Foundation (NFF), National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), The Brandr Group and others in the college sports space.


About the ACC:

The Atlantic Coast Conference, now in its 70th year of competition and 15 members strong, has long enjoyed the reputation as one of the strongest and most competitive intercollegiate conferences in the nation. ACC members Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Miami, North Carolina, NC State, Notre Dame, Pitt, Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest continue to build upon the cornerstones on which the league was founded in 1953 with a consistent balance of academics, athletics and integrity. The ACC currently sponsors 27 NCAA sports – 14 for women and 13 for men – with member institutions located in 10 states. In August 2019, ESPN and the ACC partnered to launch ACC Network (ACCN), a 24/7 national network dedicated to ACC sports and league-wide original programming. For more information, visit theACC.com and follow @theACC on Twitter and on Facebook (facebook.com/theACC).

About FishBait Solutions:

FishBait Solutions, LLC was founded in early 2021 by Rick Jones, Ron Cook and Rob Temple. Combining existing agencies and decades of experiences and connections, the agency counts numerous national brands as clients. FishBait sells and activates sponsorships within six divisions: Collegiate Sports, American Heritage, Youth Sports, Country Music, Travel/Food Festivals and Outdoor Lifestyle. With offices in nine states, it harnesses a dedicated team of seasoned strategic marketing and media executives, with expertise in experiential marketing, consulting, sales, communications strategy, content production and more.


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