Crimson Tide to Benefit from Elevated Offerings, Dedicated NIL Center, Original Content in New Agreement
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The University of Alabama Department of Athletics has extended its multimedia rights relationship with longtime partner LEARFIELD in a move that helps deliver elevated service offerings and customized programs to Crimson Tide fans and student-athletes.
The new 15-year agreement, one of the longest and most integrated in college athletics, builds on the traditional components that have encompassed the relationship since 1998 with several new strategic initiatives including an original content platform in collaboration with LEARFIELD Studios, and access to robust data and analytics enhancements via the company’s Fanbase infrastructure to better connect with Alabama fans.
A highlight of the new agreement is a first-of-its-kind, dedicated NIL hub called The Advantage Center, which will serve as the epicenter of support for name, image and likeness (NIL) endeavors for the more than 600 Crimson Tide student-athletes. LEARFIELD and Alabama Athletics will collaborate on the development of the center to provide a physical home and team of dedicated staff to provide education and resources for student-athletes with respect to NIL opportunities, as well as a location to showcase successful local and national NIL relationships.
“LEARFIELD is the industry leader in cutting-edge fan engagement and brand connectivity. Continuing to partner with LEARFIELD will provide us with the resources and innovative solutions to deliver on our mission of providing the best student-athlete and fan experiences possible,” said Director of Athletics Greg Byrne. “The new NIL center and plans for exciting new content for our fans are just a few examples of the ways in which LEARFIELD will continue to help us be the leader in college athletics for years to come.”
The Advantage Center builds on the initiative started by Alabama Athletics in May 2021 to educate and provide the tools necessary for Crimson Tide student-athletes to build and elevate their personal brands. The new center will be located in Bryant-Denny Stadium next to The Authentic, UA’s retail store powered by Fanatics, which provides NIL opportunities through branded licensed merchandise.
“We’re thrilled to continue working alongside Greg and the outstanding leadership at Alabama, enhancing this longstanding partnership with the most innovative solutions in college sports,” said LEARFIELD President & CEO Cole Gahagan. “From industry-leading data management and content to a first-of-its-kind NIL destination for Crimson Tide student-athletes, the investments that LEARFIELD and the University of Alabama are making to benefit fans, brands and student-athletes is extraordinary.”
The longtime LEARFIELD and Alabama ties extend well beyond the agreement for multimedia rights. LEARFIELD-owned companies Paciolan and SIDEARM Sports also represent the Crimson Tide for ticketing and the official athletics website RollTide.com/app, respectively. Additionally, LEARFIELD’s licensing division, CLC, has been the exclusive licensing agent for Alabama since 1981. Crimson Tide Sports Marketing, led by Vice President and General Manager Jim Carabin, oversees all aspects of the comprehensive multimedia rights relationship and manages the corporate partner platform with all athletics’ sponsors.
“We thank Cole (Gahagan) and the entire LEARFIELD team, including Jim (Carabin) and everyone at our local property, Crimson Tide Sports Marketing,” added Byrne. “Our solid relationships at both the local and national level have been instrumental in our success, and we look forward to the continued collaboration as we expand and lead in this space. Also, we thank LEONA for its work in serving as a consultant throughout the process that helped lead to this landmark deal.”
LEARFIELD is a leading media, data 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. Since 2008, it has served as title sponsor for the acclaimed LEARFIELD Directors’ Cup, supporting athletic departments across all divisions.
Image Credit: LEARFIELD and SLATE|SHEPHERD