PLANO, Texas – Learfield continues to add depth to its range of collegiate multimedia capabilities with the acquisition of Think Social, an agency specializing in building robust social media campaigns for sponsors. The announcement was made jointly by Learfield President and CEO Greg Brown and Think Social Founder and President Jim Hanchett.
“This is a terrific addition to the Learfield family,” said Brown. “Our company, as well as others who develop marketing campaigns for sponsors, have been utilizing Think Social to add significant value to collegiate sponsorship programs. More and more, social media components are strategic elements of the best sponsorship programs, and this new partnership brings the development of these vital concepts under our roof.”
The transaction, the terms of which are confidential, takes effect immediately. The company will continue to operate under the Think Social name and brand and all current employees will remain with the firm. Hanchett will report to Chief Revenue Officer Andy Rawlings.
“I’m very excited about this acquisition,” said Hanchett. “For the last four years, we have worked hard to build a great business and to provide innovative solutions for our clients and partners. Our employees have done terrific work, and I’m looking forward to continued growth and success with Learfield.”
Hanchett, a former student athlete at Oregon State University, founded Think Social in 2011. Learfield began utilizing Think Social’s expertise first at Oregon State, where it is the athletics multimedia rights holder. In 2013, Learfield and Think Social rolled out a more comprehensive partnership providing the digital marketing firm automatic entry to work with all of Learfield’s collegiate properties. The engagement grew, and in the past year alone, Think Social has developed and activated over 600 social media campaigns on behalf of Learfield’s collegiate sponsors nationwide.
“I am very pleased to learn of this transaction,” said Todd Stansbury, Vice President and Director of Athletics at Oregon State. “Not only does this make a lot of sense for our partners, Think Social and Learfield, it is personally gratifying to see one of our former student athletes and a business Oregon State athletics helped get off the ground become an industry leader. Jim Hanchett and Think Social are the template for SportUp, our Student Athlete business incubator program that we are developing as part of our Everyday Champions Program.”
“Digital and social media-driven campaigns create premium value for sponsors,” added Brown. “Bringing Think Social into to the Learfield family adds an area of expertise that is critical to serving our partners and delivering value to them at the highest level.”
An industry leader for more than four decades, Learfield has a deep presence in the college athletics landscape nationwide. It manages the multimedia and sponsorship rights for 120 collegiate institutions, conferences and arenas, and supports athletic departments at all competitive levels as title sponsor of the prestigious Learfield Directors’ Cup. Learfield also provides its collegiate partners access to professional concessions and ticket sales; licensing and trademark consulting; digital platform expertise; and venue and technology systems through its affiliated companies.
ABOUT THINK SOCIAL
Think Social is the leading social media agency dedicated to sports and entertainment marketing. The firm specializes in targeted advertising, solution-based sales, sponsorship strategy, asset valuation, consulting and training, reporting and analysis, and the development of multichannel and integrated social media assets, campaigns, promotions and engagement activities.