Cal Athletics, Learfield Agree to 10-Year Multimedia Rights Partnership
BERKELEY – On the heels of its groundbreaking Under Armour partnership announced this spring, the University of California, Berkeley continues to fortify its brand position with a new multimedia rights agreement with Learfield, announced today by Cal’s Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, H. Michael Williams.
The new partnership, which will begin with staffing assignments this fall, encompasses the traditional marketing and sponsor partnerships typically offered through major athletic programs, but will also include additional external marketing investments and exposure to promote the Cal program.
“We are excited to begin this new relationship with Learfield,” said Williams. “Learfield has brought to us a number of ideas that support our connection to the overall objectives and mission of the University.”
Learfield’s on-campus team at UC Berkeley will be led by an Executive Director, who will be hired this fall, and will feature specific staffing to support new initiatives, including collaboration with campus leadership in the development of strategic corporate alliances that benefit the university as a whole. “We are excited to work alongside partners like Cal to find new ways to promote the university and its athletics program within the increasingly competitive landscape that is higher education,” said Greg Brown, President and CEO of Learfield. “Cal’s leadership has demonstrated a willingness to explore new ideas and ways to engage sponsors in support of the university and we are incredibly excited to begin this new relationship.”
The Cal/Learfield partnership will also feature the development of new social media channels, including engagement of Think Social, Learfield’s social media agency, and a number of other media and sponsorship innovations. Learfield will bring specific expertise to the enhancement of the fan experience and develop integrated sponsorships that support that effort. The affiliation is further supported by SIDEARM Sports, a Learfield company that is already operating the athletic department’s website infrastructure (www.CalBears.com). “We believe connecting our sponsorship and multimedia operation to our web and digital presence makes a great deal of sense,” added Williams.
The new agreement will run through the 2026-27 athletic season.
ABOUT CAL ATHLETICS
The University of California is represented by more than 850 student-athletes in 30 sports. Striving for excellence in the classroom and the arenas of competition, Cal teams have earned 91 national championships in 15 different sports, with nearly 300 individual and relay national championships won by student-athletes. Golden Bears have also collected 207 medals at the Olympic Games, including 21 this past summer in Rio.
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 and social platform expertise; and venue and technology systems through its affiliated companies.
Herb Benenson, Cal Assistant Athletic Director for Communications
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