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Getting Into the Game

How Learfield is Helping Brands Partner with Your Favorite School

Photo by Ben Hershey on Unsplash

Sports and brands are synonymous with one another. The Boston Red Sox are known for the famous Citgo signs that resides beyond the Green Monster. The University of Oregon goes hand-in-hand with apparel and shoe giant Nike, and the University of North Carolina is tightly associated with the jump man himself and the Jordan Brand logo that graces its uniforms. There is no doubt that brands have made a lasting impact on fan bases everywhere thanks to sports.

“Brands have a really interesting opportunity to actually create traditions around game day that are synonymous with the brands and finding things that are meaningful to the brands and become great traditions,” Jennifer Davis, CMO of Learfield said. “A carpet company rolling out the carpet for a team to enter the field, or a particular sign being reminiscent of the kind of offering that a company can bring, or a sponsor of a particular segment or kind of content that becomes part of a game tradition.”

One of the ways that brands are taking a different approach to those sponsorship opportunities has ties into the way that they are using Learfield’s network of schools to broaden its reach.

“We’ve certainly seen people take that lens to say, ‘How could I treat this as a national platform to get my brand out there and to engage with fans?’” Davis said. “We’ve also seen the reverse, where maybe a local credit union will have a relationship with the university, and through their analysis of their customer base and our analysis of our fan base have determined that there are a lot of Wisconsin fans that don’t live in the shadow of the stadium. They’re not in their home state, but they live in California, or they live in New York, or they live in Texas and they could very potentially be customers of this credit union or customers of other brands that have that affiliation with the school. We’ve seen that reverse where a company who wants a national reach is using college, their affiliation with a particular school or a group of schools to go national. Being able to tailor the programs to the individual needs of the brands is part of the secret sauce that we can bring to bear.”

On a recent episode of Marketing Trends, Davis joined the show to discuss how Learfield brings big partnerships to life between brands and universities. Plus she explains how sports marketing has become a much more integral piece of the overall sales funnel. To hear more, make sure you check out the full episode!

Marketing Trends podcast is brought to you by Salesforce. Discover marketing built on the world’s number one CRM: Salesforce. Put your customer at the center of every interaction. Automate engagement with each customer. And build your marketing strategy around the entire customer journey. Salesforce. We bring marketing and engagement together. Learn more at salesforce.com/marketing.




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