Landmark Agreement for Sooners to Commence July 1
NORMAN, Okla. – The University of Oklahoma Athletics Department will expand its relationship with longtime multimedia rightsholder LEARFIELD for the next 10 years as announced by OU Vice President and Director of Athletics Joe Castiglione.
The new agreement begins July 1, 2022 and is markedly transformative for the Sooners. Considered historic by both parties in many respects, it will encompass the traditional comprehensive elements LEARFIELD has managed on behalf of OU Athletics since 1994, as well as an assortment of innovative and robust touchpoints for Sooners fans, including significant digital content, in-venue investments and customized original content via the LEARFIELD Studios team. OU also is collaborating with LEARFIELD in providing additional NIL leadership focus and support, which includes a dedicated team member.
“We’re pleased to finalize a ground-breaking long-term agreement with LEARFIELD – a partner we’ve trusted and leaned on for many years to help us connect with Sooner fans and grow our brand,” said Castiglione. “As with any challenges and changes our industry experiences, we intentionally seek cutting-edge collaborations to move us forward in the marketplace. Their leadership continues to help our administration navigate through areas such as NIL, evolution in the content game and digital innovation. We look forward to their continued partnership corporately as well as through Sooner Sports Properties.”
The rich history shared between OU and LEARFIELD extends well beyond multimedia rights representation. LEARFIELD-owned companies CLC, Paciolan and SIDEARM Sports also represent OU by way of managing licensing, ticketing and SoonerSports.com/the Oklahoma Sooners app, respectively. Also, LEARFIELD Amplify works with OU Athletics driving strategy and execution for all aspects of their business including ticket sales and retention, premium seating, development, data and analytics, and in-venue seating.
“It goes without saying that Joe and the entire athletics administration have been phenomenal partners of LEARFIELD for a very long time, and we’re extremely proud to have the opportunity to continue representing the Sooner brand,” said Mike Hamilton, LEARFIELD EVP-University Partnership Group. “We appreciate OU Athletics’ longtime trust in us and knowing our intense level of commitment to best serve the department, their fans and sponsors, and ultimately, the student-athletes and campus community. The unprecedented agreement commencing in July speaks to the forward-thinking, strategic decisions necessary in today’s rapidly evolving college sports landscape.”
Concurrently, LEARFIELD has named OU alumnus Kelly Collyar as vice president and general manager for its Norman-based Sooner Sports Properties team. He joined Sooner Sports Properties in 2012 after serving four years with the University of Oklahoma in marketing and recruitment. Collyar earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from OU.
Sooner Sports Properties works alongside OU Athletics in daily oversight of all aspects of the comprehensive multimedia rights relationship, as well as management of the corporate partner platform with local, regional and national brands. Collyar serves as the primary LEARFIELD liaison.
“We are genuinely excited about this extension and how it will transform the way our brand partners integrate with Sooners fans,” said Collyar. “Through the expansion of categories and assets, as well as the addition of LEARFIELD Studios, sponsorship will truly take on a new meaning at OU. I’m honored to have the opportunity to carry on the legacy of success we have experienced at the University of Oklahoma.”
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.