Kansas’ THE BLUEPRINT, and GRANTED, featuring Toledo, Launch Today;
Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, UConn announce Premium Content Initiative
PLANO, Texas (April 25, 2022) – LEARFIELD Studios, the new name unveiled for the company’s veteran team driving original and branded content, as well as new content platforms, announced it will be launching a multitude of distinct, premium content for university partners.
Namely, two of those original productions launch today – THE BLUEPRINT (with University of Kansas) and GRANTED (debut episode with University of Toledo). Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas Tech and UConn also are working with LEARFIELD Studios on this elevated platform initiative centered on creating, distributing and monetizing premier content designed specifically for their fans. These LEARFIELD school partners are the early adopters of custom content plans which LEARFIELD will create in collaboration with all multimedia rights partners.
THE BLUEPRINT, a four-episode series, gives Jayhawks fans an authentic, all-access look at Kansas football’s return to the gridiron in year two with Head Coach Lance Leipold. THE BLUEPRINT is directed by ESPN 30 for 30 director and former Jayhawks wide receiver Micah Brown – and voiced by Rob Riggle, Kansas alumnus and famed actor/comedian. The trailer is live now, with the remaining episodes live on April 28. Similarly, GRANTED is a multi-episode original series. It features the emotional experience and lead up of awarding a walk-on student-athlete a full scholarship, with University of Toledo serving as centerpiece of the first episode. Andrew Hawkins, host of the series, was a former walk-on for the Rockets who went on to earn a football scholarship and play six years in the NFL. Episode one tells the compelling story of Toledo alumnus A.J. Harrison. GRANTED was created by Hawkins and is being developed by LEARFIELD Studios alongside Hawkins’ production company, Parks Tower Studios, and Embassy Row. Part of Sony Pictures Television, Embassy Row is a television and digital production company dedicated to the development of non-scripted programming for broadcast, cable and digital platforms.
“The ways in which college fans engage with their universities and consume content around athletics is changing drastically, and we intend to help our school partners and student-athletes maximize their opportunities in this new landscape,” said LEARFIELD CEO Cole Gahagan. “Our experienced LEARFIELD Studios team is extremely creative with superb connections throughout media and entertainment. And when paired with our unrivaled fan data infrastructure, we’re beyond bullish on the prospect of bolstering fan engagement and creating meaningful revenue opportunities.”
“This next-generation partnership with LEARFIELD provides a unique opportunity to produce behind-the-scenes content that gives our constituents access to never-before-told stories,” said Kansas Director of Athletics Travis Goff. “I want to thank the LEARFIELD team for their professional guidance and support through this newly developed series. Launching THE BLUEPRINT series with Kansas Football was a unique opportunity to bring to life the building process underway with Lance Leipold. We look forward to introducing additional series for other programs in the days ahead.”
LEARFIELD Studios’ accelerated plans for 2022 complement what the team launched last fall. Several university partners collaborated on original content in recent months, including Minnesota, Oregon State and Syracuse. The video series with Minnesota, Girls In Leadership, presented inspirational content in support of the university’s ongoing efforts to spotlight the next generation of female leaders. At Syracuse and Oregon State, five-episode documentaries entitled STORIED and GET WHAT YOU EARN provided fans an ultimate all-access journey into the 2021-22 Orange and Beaver men’s basketball programs, respectively. Notably, STORIED was a 2022 Cynopsis Sports Media Awards finalist. The Hello Heisman podcast and video series by LEARFIELD Studios also launched last fall, starring 1991 Heisman winner Desmond Howard and Heisman voter Jimmy Roberts.
“The LEARFIELD Studios team is built around telling stories that college sports fans will love, in creative collaboration with our school partners,” said LEARFIELD SVP/Head of Content Grant Jones. “We believe that as the college sports business continues to evolve, student-athlete driven content, in many forms, will play a vital role. We’re excited to amplify the storytelling with our schools that fans love and brands want to be around.”
Click here for LEARFIELD Studios’ sizzle reel.
LEARFIELD is a 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. LEARFIELD 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. Since 2008, it has served as title sponsor for the acclaimed LEARFIELD Directors’ Cup, supporting athletic departments across all divisions.