7 Ways Learfield is Unlocking NIL Opportunities

Solly Fulp
By Solly Fulp; EVP, NIL Growth & Development


Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) is incredibly dynamic and one of the fastest-moving aspects of college athletics. At Learfield, each of our school partners has its unique approach to NIL, including how they provide opportunities for student-athletes, work with collectives, and position themselves on evolving legislation and guidance from the NCAA and individual states. One thing is sure: NIL is one of the highest priorities on everyone’s mind in college athletics.

7 Ways Learfield is Unlocking NIL Opportunities


1. Tell Stories through Unique Student-Athlete Content

The most powerful stories on campus come from student-athletes and the teams that they represent. Learfield provides brands the opportunity to become a part of those stories. To help Postmates enter the Austin market, four UT Austin student-athletes shared their go-to order from local Postmates restaurants and thoughts on the surrounding Austin Area. Having University of Texas student-athlete’s endorsement amplified Postmates’ presence within the Austin community, cementing the campaign’s success.

Postmates Promo


2. Foster Authentic Value Driven Connections

Fans, students, and brands all want authentic connections – not something that feels overly commercialized. It is magical when a student-athlete has a natural connection with a brand, which makes the story come to life. A great example is the Milk Means More campaign with Sierra Brooks, a Michigan women’s gymnastics star. Brooks drank milk as part of her daily routine, a regimen critical to her success and health as an athlete. This unique situation presented a natural opportunity for a partnership with the United Dairy Industry of Michigan – and was a perfect match of values.

milk means more

3. Amplify Messages on Digital Channels

Learfield sits at the nexus of 150 million fan relationships that come through our two front doors of the business, including ticket buyers from Paciolan and website or mobile app visitors from SIDEARM Sports. This reach unlocks amplifying messages through social media, digital marketing, or connected TV campaigns. Digital activation of NIL deals delivers the perfect message to the right fan at the ideal time, 365 days a year, not just on game day.

digital channels

4. Connect School Logos and IP with Brand Sponsors

College fans are the largest, most avid, and most affluent group in sports. Learfield is the exclusive deal maker for 160 colleges to integrate school intellectual property (IP) into NIL campaigns along with student-athletes. Incorporating college logos and IP significantly impacts campaign effectiveness, resulting in an average 22% increase in engagement for digital campaigns.

brand sponsors

5. Drive Value with Boots on the Ground

Learfield provides dedicated NIL business development managers on campus who focus all their time on helping to educate student-athletes, connect student-athletes with brands, and tap into resources to elevate NIL opportunities. These resources manage fulfillment and activation with brands and student-athletes that drive next-level engagement and expertise to ensure positive outcomes and experiences.

drive value

6. Dedicated NIL Education and Content Creation Centers

Student-athletes benefit from having a place where they can go to access NIL specific resources. The perfect example of this concept is the Alabama Advantage Center, where student-athletes benefit from a dedicated hub designed to support them on their journey towards maximizing their NIL opportunities. The center offers access to workshops, education modules, one-on-one strategy meetings, and individual profile development. Since its inception in October 2023, the Alabama Advantage Center has helped over 190 student-athletes across 14 sports participate in NIL opportunities.

NIL alabama

7. Provide Student-Athletes Impactful NIL Micro-Internship Experiences

NIL aims to enhance the student-athlete journey during their time on campus. Today’s student-athletes prioritize earning meaningful degrees, winning championships, character development, and gaining impactful NIL dealmaking experience. A well-rounded college experience empowers student-athletes to take advantage of NIL financial opportunities while gaining vital life skills and establishing professional relationships through collaborations with brands and business partners. Through these experiences, student-athletes gain “micro-internship” opportunities and learn influencer marketing skills, financial literacy, and NIL deal literacy alongside the commercial aspects of NIL.