PLANO, Texas – Twelve individuals from various organizations have been selected to attend the 4th Annual Learfield Minority Academy, which will be hosted June 19-23, 2017 and held in partnership with the Minority Opportunities Athletic Association (MOAA).

Considered to be a one-of-a-kind event, the five-day Academy was designed to foster minority growth and development in the collegiate multimedia and sponsorship sector. The Minority Academy Selection Committee, comprised of members from Learfield and MOAA, closely reviewed more than 100 applicants in determining final selection of the following 12 individuals:
Anthony Alford, University of Georgia
Zaina Atyani, New Mexico State University
Darryle Bajomo, AECOM Center for Sports Administration
Bryan Blair, Rice University
Sheridan Blanford, Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
Epiphany Clark, Michigan State University
Brittany Coles, Florida State University
Gregory Hairston Jr., North Carolina A&T State University
Daniel Heflin, Texas Tech University
Alvin Hines, University of Missouri
Alfred Tomlinson, University of Texas
Ryan Watley, University Of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

“The Learfield Minority Academy has become a model for other organizations to emulate,” said MOAA Executive Director Stan Johnson. “Now in its fourth year, it continues to provide a learning experience that will assist these talented individuals with their professional and personal growth. Additionally, Learfield’s commitment to the Academy shows that they continue to be a leader in fostering minority enhancement and development in the college multimedia and sponsorship landscape.”

The Academy begins with two and a half days of classroom educational sessions dedicated to sales training, best practices and professional development at Learfield’s corporate headquarters in North Dallas. The final two days allow attendees to be on-site to shadow sales staff at select Learfield partner Division I collegiate institutions – providing for ultimate engagement in actual day-to-day operations of Learfield’s multimedia rights relationships. This year’s host university partners are Army, Cal, Iowa, Minnesota, Northwestern and Texas Tech.

“We’ve had tremendous feedback regarding the value of the programming offered throughout the Learfield Minority Academy, not only from our attendees every year, but from our university partners as well, and that’s extremely affirming,” said Learfield’s Chief Culture and Communications Officer Roger Gardner, who has played a pivotal role in the Academy’s creation and vision. “We are honored to work with MOAA on the Academy and we’re pleased to welcome these 12 individuals in June. It’s our hope they will benefit greatly from the experience.”

The mission of MOAA is to provide opportunities to exchange ideas, advocate increased participation and administrative opportunities for minorities in athletics. MOAA also promotes generating a sports culture that supports the values necessary to teach and learn respect for self and others.

About the Minority Opportunities Athletic Association:
In partnership with the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), the Minority Opportunities Athletic Association promotes equitable employment opportunities for minorities in the athletics industry through the exchange of ideas, the creation of networking opportunities and the avocation of an increase in employment for minorities in athletics administration positions at all levels of the sports industry. The association also promotes cultivating a sports environment that supports the values necessary to accept aspiring professionals from all walks of life.

About Learfield:
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 more than 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.