PLANO, Texas – Do marks matter? Learfield Sports turned to Turnkey Intelligence to take a deep dive into a consumer research study to gain an even better understanding of how college fans make a connection between corporate partners and their favorite teams.

The recent findings provide excellent intel for Learfield – a company embedded in the collegiate sports marketing industry for over 40 years currently representing nearly 120 university athletic programs and conferences nationwide. Turnkey Intelligence, the industry’s leading consumer intelligence firm operating under parent Turnkey Sports & Entertainment, ultimately showcased through the study that sponsoring a college team results in positive feelings and actions toward a brand. Additionally, findings clearly indicated that school marks on sponsors’ assets positively impacted perceptions and behavior among fans of the school.Turnkey

“Without a doubt, we already know we’re fortunate to work with brands that instantly connect with people – many of which represent the most iconic, respected and indelible programs in all of college sports,” said Roy Seinfeld, Learfield’s executive vice president, national sales. “What we hoped to accomplish with this study, we got. And that was quantifiable numbers and percentages that really spoke to the fact that intellectual property is extremely valuable and the 190 million college sports fans in America likely prefer to align with a brand that is representative of what matters to them; sharing a passionate affinity for a favorite team or alma mater.”

Turnkey Intelligence conducted and measured results with six Learfield university partners (Alabama, Colorado, Fresno State, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Penn State) across three sponsorship categories: beverage, financial/membership services and insurance. As the exclusive multimedia rights holder for these collegiate athletic programs, Learfield worked closely between its on-campus dedicated staff, as well as the athletic administrators and select sponsors, to ensure the five-month process with Turnkey was seamless.

The research study centered on gathering research from fans, as well as non-fans of a respective university, and exposing them to images of sponsor assets with school marks and without school marks.

When a partner and school brand co-existed on packaging, overall feelings about co-branded packaging increased 47 percent, and overall motivation to purchase a package with partner and school brands co-existing increased 113 percent. Specifically, findings proved that overall desire to seek more information about a co-branded product such as an affinity card increased 147 percent, and that overall motivation to seek more information or apply for a new card increased 350 percent for a co-branded product.

Other significance of the study indicate there is an increased likelihood of 211 percent for a consumer to click on a co-branded digital display ad when a school and partner brand are included. In addition, the overall motivation to request an insurance quote as a result of the co-branded display ad increases 110 percent.

“There’s no question college sports fans are passionate. They’re loyal, vocal and want to identify with their college brand of choice in every way,” added Seinfeld. “The data that Turnkey uncovered and the resulting insights absolutely justify our position, our game plan, our history of doing business in this space, and further amplifies what we set forth to accomplish with our university partners particularly in terms of building innovative corporate partner relationships.”

According to Turnkey Intelligence Senior Vice President of Research Nikolay Panchev, “We appreciated the opportunity to work with Learfield Sports on this important project. The use of sports IP marks is arguably the most critical benefit for brands choosing to use sports as a marketing platform. We’re happy to have provided quantifiable information to Learfield about the value of utilizing college sports properties’ intangible assets. The information on how to best utilize college sports IP marks to effectively activate partnerships was perhaps one of the more compelling takeaways from the study.”
Additional data from the Intellectual Property Study proves the following:
-65 percent of fans would consider switching brands (or buying habits) to support a sponsor
-65 percent of fans say that a company’s sponsorship at the school has a positive effect on how fans perceive that company
-68 percent of fans say they feel better about a brand that sponsors school sports
-67 percent of fans say they are proud to utilize the products and services of school sponsors

Turnkey Intelligence (TI) is the creator of the Audience Portal, the sports and entertainment industry’s online data and analytics hub. Over 220 clients utilize the Portal to sell and market smarter. TI is also home to a custom research department that has conducted and analyzed more than 500 studies for sports and entertainment’s top leagues, properties, brands and events. For more information about Turnkey Intelligence, visit

In addition to managing multimedia rights and sponsorship for 120 collegiate properties across the country, Learfield titles the prestigious Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup with award co-founders NACDA and USA Today. Representing collegiate institutions, conferences and arenas for their respective rights and sponsorship initiatives, Learfield offers these partners with professional concessions and ticket sales, licensing and trademark consulting, digital platform expertise and venue and technology systems through its owned companies. To learn more about its history, businesses and job opportunities, visit