On Friday, North Texas and Learfield Communications, LLC jointly announced a 10-year multimedia partnership. A team will be created to manage “all aspects of the rights agreement that includes signage, digital, corporate sponsorships, television and radio play-by-play, and coaches’ shows.”
Hopefully this is just the beginning of a relationship that increases the visibility of the Athletics program while increasing the stature of the academics side of the university as well. While the agreement between the school and Learfield surrounds the multimedia rights, there are other areas of the Athletics that could benefit from an expanded relationship.
North Texas fans should expect to see differences starting with the beginning of the 2017 Football season.
Learfield Partnership Map
Services Learfield Communications Offers
- Campus+ – “Explore viable university-wide partnerships specifically designed to align the core university academic and administrative initiatives with those of potential corporate partners.”
- National Sales – “Through a multitude of strategic marketing assets and capabilities, we deliver national, scalable campaigns built on local relevance and activation.”
- Ticketing Solutions – “Provide a professional sales force to a school partner, working from within the athletic department or from one of the company’s two national sales centers.”
- Mogo Interactive – “Reach across devices and platforms to connect, engage and activate fans across display, video, mobile, social, search and more to better integrate the marketing efforts of our partners and as part of an overall strategy.”
- KLEARintel – “Provide leading colleges and universities with proprietary software, a data warehouse, predictive analytics and targeted marketing services.”
- Levy Restaurants – “A premier food service company that offers incredible food experiences at over 100 locations across the country (the majority of which are professional sporting arenas and stadiums).”
- Sidearm Sports – “Provide software and technology that powers websites, mobile applications, live stats, social presence and video streaming for its school and conference partners.”
- ThinkSocial – “Team with our brand and collegiate partners on areas such as targeted advertising, corporate partnership strategy, asset valuation, consulting, analysis, and development of multi-channel and social media campaigns, promotions, and engagement activities.”
- Learfield Licensing Partners – “Provide the best practices and strategies in the industry to properly protect and promote its clients’ brands.”
- SME – “Connect with audiences through powerful brand identity and advertising development.”
- ANC – “Create immersive experiences in stadiums, entertainment facilities, transportation hubs and retail venues through the design, integration, operation and content creation for dynamic video display systems.”
- GoVision – “A premier provider of large-scale LED video displays — for rent or purchase — and related services.”
What This Means for North Texas
The services I see North Texas Athletics should be taking advantage of are:
- Sidearm Sports – North Texas currently uses CBS Interactive and there is room for improvement in the Internet website experience. Problems have been reported by fans regarding email blasts where the formatting was a problem.
- SME – North Texas has always struggled with brand identity and brand promotion. This partnership could help push the North Texas Mean Green brand to new and unforeseen heights.
- National Sales – North Texas already outsources its ticketing and sales operations to a third party. In the past operations have had problems and I have heard the ticketing/sales experience has improved but there is likely still plenty of room for improvement.
- ThinkSocial – North Texas is relatively inexperienced in the social media realm. Recruits for all sports are heavy users of social media and this alone could help with recruiting. Social media is just another means of engaging fans, alumni, and students for North Texas Athletics, which is average at best leaving a lot of room for improvement.
- Learfield Licensing Partners – Currently North Texas uses CLC (Collegiate Licensing Company) for managing its brand licensing. Numerous problems have been reported all across the Dallas/Fort Worth area where it is difficult to purchase NT apparel and products. Things have improved the past couple years but it is unacceptable that a fan or alumnus must go to numerous stores to find a few t-shirts or a hat to purchase when North Texas is the largest university in the DFW Metroplex.
- ANC – The in-game experience is paramount in maintaining the current fan base and then growing that fan base. ANC specializes in creating stills and motion graphics for video web streams in addition to video feeds served inside an arena/stadium in addition to using these graphics in social media.