11-Year-Old Winner of In-Stadium, Text-to-Win Fan Contest Excited to Fly

FRESNO, Calif. – Fresno State Athletics and its multimedia rightsholder, Learfield’s Bulldog Sports Properties, introduced this season a brand-new in stadium promotional feature “Soaring” for all Bulldog home football games. A complementary, text-to-win promotion was added by the presenting sponsor Fresno Yosemite International Airport to thank fans for flying Fresno, and 11-year-old Austin became the first big winner.

fresnoAustin, an avid Bulldog fan, followed the text-to-win directions perfectly during the October 14 game against San Diego State when Fresno State showcased its Soaring to New Heights – Dogs in the NFL feature on the LED videoboard. The promotion, which highlights former Bulldogs currently playing in the National Football League, is sponsored by one of Fresno State Athletics’ community partners, Fresno Yosemite International Airport, who donated a $500 American Airlines travel gift card. The text-to-win promotion will be featured during two additional home football games this season, and winners receive a $500 American Airlines travel gift card.

(L to R) Craig and Austin; Kevin Meikle, Director of Aviation for Fresno Yosemite International Airport; EJ Cutliff, Senior Manager, Business Development for Bulldog Sports Properties

“Partnering with Fresno State Athletics on the new Soaring campaign has given us the opportunity to thank the community for flying Fresno and supporting the Airport’s continued record growth,” said Director of Aviation Kevin Meikle. “We are pleased to present the first recipient of the Text-to-Win Contest and look forward to announcing the next lucky winner.”

Austin’s father, Craig, who accompanied him to collect the prize, said they are not sure where his son will choose to go on is first-ever trip on a plane. However, he is sure of one thing, “Win or lose, we support Fresno State Athletics!”

“As we collaborate daily with the athletics administration, we’re always striving to come up with innovate sponsor integrations, and ones that are designed to better the game day experience for fans,” said Bulldogs Sports Properties General Manager Mike Maiorana. “Fresno Yosemite International Airport has been a great community supporter of the Bulldogs, and this initiative was a natural fit given the direction in which we were going. It’s been fun having them involved and they’re an invaluable partner for Fresno State Athletics.”


An industry leader for more than four decades, Learfield has a deep presence in the college athletics landscape nationwide. In addition to Fresno State, 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; branding, licensing and trademark consulting; digital and social platform expertise; campus-wide business and sponsorship development; and venue and technology systems through its affiliated companies.