TicketCity opened 2011 by becoming the first ticket brokerage to sponsor a college football bowl game. Halfway through the year, it has announced a partnership with a school that could potentially play in the 2012 TicketCity Bowl.

TicketCity and the University of South Florida agreed to a sponsorship deal this week in which TicketCity will team up with USF IMG Sports Marketing to serve as an official secondary ticket partner with the Tampa-based school, which is the ninth-largest school in the country.

“We are honored to partner with USF, one of the fastest-growing universities in the nation and the second-largest university in the southeast,” TicketCity chief strategy officer Rafael Rivas said in a statement. “USF’s loyal fans will benefit from our extensive offering of tickets for a variety of live events and our leading customer service.”

TicketCity’s efforts will focus largely on marketing and selling tickets to the football and men’s basketball games at South Florida. The football team plays at Raymond James Stadium, the home of the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, while the basketball team plays in the Sun Dome on campus.

“We are excited to announce this partnership with TicketCity,” Jason Capel, the general manager of USF IMG sports marketing, said in a press release. “Their reputation in the secondary ticket business speaks for itself. This is an exciting time in USF sports for our fans and partners.”

The affiliation with South Florida is just the latest NCAA partnership for TicketCity, which was founded in 1990 and offers tickets to all events but specializes in college sports. South Florida is the fifth school with which TicketCity has established a partnership. TicketCity is also aligned with Baylor, the University of California, Oklahoma State and Washington State. In addition, TicketCity is the exclusive secondary ticket provider for CBSSports.com, NBCSports.com and SI.com.

South Florida didn’t even play football until 1997 and didn’t debut as a Division I (i.e. Football Bowl Subdivision) program until 2001. But the Bulls have wasted no time in joining the FBS elite: South Florida has played in a bowl game every season since becoming a Big East member in 2005 and was ranked as high as no. 2 nationally during the 2007 season.

The South Florida men’s basketball team hasn’t made as immediate an impact in the Big East. The Bulls have recorded just one winning season (2009-10) since moving to the Big East and haven’t reached the NCAA Tournament since the 1991-92 season.