Interactive College Sports-Only Trivia Game for National Audience Starts Nov. 10

DALLAS – College sports fans across the U.S. can gear up to play The Fan Exam presented by Unilever – a live trivia game hosted by Mike Golic, notable sports media personality and ESPN college football analyst. In collaboration with its parent company Learfield IMG College, SIDEARM Sports tapped Golic to host the inaugural, six-week interactive college sports trivia game – to be played exclusively and simultaneously on a network of official athletics websites and apps powered by SIDEARM.

Golic will be a familiar voice for college sports fans playing The Fan Exam. The live game show is free to play and will begin at 8 p.m. ET every Tuesday and Thursday, from Nov. 10 – Dec. 17, 2020. The only date variation is during Thanksgiving week, with a move to Wednesday. Fans will access the game via or through a dedicated entry point on the official athletics website, or mobile app, of their school of choice. For mobile users, there is no separate app to download. Each game will feature 12 college sports trivia questions, with varying degrees of difficulty, in a non-elimination format. Players accumulate points for correct answers, with prizes awarded to top finishers after each week of play and at the end of the six-week period.

“There’s no denying the passion and loyalty of college sports fans, and The Fan Exam is designed to capture that insatiable appetite for college sports through a national, live game show hosted by the one and only Mike Golic,” said Jeff Rubin, who is SIDEARM Sports’ president and CEO, and chief digital officer for Learfield IMG College’s media group. “We’re excited about getting this under way and pleased to bring this to our school partners and their fans as a complement to the fall and winter sports seasons.”

“It’s no secret my allegiance to sports, both personally and professionally, and I’m excited to be the one introducing The Fan Exam to diehard college sports fans across the country starting November 10,” added Golic. “After a 25-year career with ESPN, it feels good to refocus on new projects that still center around what I’m most passionate about, and doing it with Learfield IMG College and SIDEARM – reputable companies doing great work in the college space. I’m looking forward to this and more to come.”

Unilever, as presenting sponsor of The Fan Exam, is able to leverage its United for America program and help create awareness for the pervasive issue of food insecurity on college campuses. A movement triggered in the wake of COVID-19, Unilever’s United for America is partnering with local communities across America to help cities recover, rebuild and reimagine their future. Over the course of The Fan Exam, Unilever’s United for America will donate one million meals to Feeding America to support their efforts in helping students at college campuses across the country fight against food insecurity. 

For Learfield IMG College, this presents a new and distinct opportunity to engage college sports fans in a unique season. The Fan Exam is owned and operated by Learfield IMG College and SIDEARM Sports – which is bringing the game at no charge to more than 150 partner schools where Learfield IMG College also is the athletics multimedia rightsholder. The Fan Exam provides the schools a new traffic driving and fan engagement initiative specific to their site, as well as opportunities for new revenue from local and national brand sponsorships secured by Learfield IMG College and its local property teams dedicated to the respective schools. Players will have the chance to compete on both local and national leaderboards and win an assortment of prizes, some with connection to those sponsors.

“The Fan Exam represents one of the many things we’re doing to further integrate SIDEARM with our multimedia rights business by developing enhancements to the platform that deliver new inventory for sales and more engagement and entertainment for fans and sponsors,” said Learfield IMG College, EVP/Managing Director-Media and Partnerships Group Rick Barakat. “The Fan Exam revolves entirely around college sports and presents an additional shared affinity opportunity with fans and our school and brand partners. With the current environment, meeting fans ‘wherever they are’ this year has been critical, and we’ve been intent on innovating and creating new content to ensure that engagement is elevated in a year unlike any other. The opportunity to drive additional awareness and visibility with our friends at Unilever around their impressive United for America campaign is a tremendous win all around, as they work to deliver 1M donated meals across the country.”

SIDEARM Sports, the nation’s leading digital provider serving more than 1,300 partners, operates within the Learfield IMG College structure. With headquarters in Syracuse, N.Y., SIDEARM was founded in 2000 by Jeff Rubin, who continues to lead the business. SIDEARM is trusted by some of the biggest brands in intercollegiate athletics, including over 300 NCAA Division I programs and 57 Power Five athletic departments. As a leader in collegiate athletic web solutions, SIDEARM Sports provides the software and technology that powers websites, mobile applications, live stats, social presence and video streaming for its school and conference partners. Clients applaud SIDEARM for its service, reliability and customization, and its easy-to-use interface allows schools to customize their content streams and digital presence.

Learfield IMG College is the leading media and technology services company in intercollegiate athletics. The company unlocks the value of college sports for brands and fans through an omnichannel platform with innovative content and commerce solutions for fan engagement. The Learfield IMG College suite of services includes licensing and multimedia sponsorship management; publishing, audio, digital and social media; data analytics; ticketing, ticket sales and professional concessions expertise; branding; campus-wide business and sponsorship development; and venue technology systems. Headquartered in Plano, Texas, the company has long had the privilege of being an advocate for intercollegiate athletics and the student-athlete experience. Since 2008, it has served as title sponsor for the acclaimed Learfield IMG College Directors’ Cup, supporting athletic departments across all divisions.