Six Ways Video Content Can Help Drive Digital Revenue

Grant Jones
By Grant Jones; SVP & Head of Content, Content Development


Learfield Studios is a best-in-class content division focused on data-driven content production, distribution, and monetization to engage fans year-round. Over the last two-plus years, our industry-leading team of content producers and strategists have consistently boosted campaign effectiveness through the inclusion of quality and engaging content designed to tell the story of our partner institutions, student-athletes, and brands, while creating deeper connections, cultivating brand affinity and awareness, and driving revenue.

Six Ways Video Content Can Help Drive Digital Revenue


1. Premium Stories, Big Engagement

The college sports scene is bursting with incredible stories, and Learfield Studios brings them to life with top-notch content. We spread this magic across multiple platforms, taking engagement to new heights. Through Learfield’s digital campaigns, video content boosts engagement rates by 30% over static images, and it only gets better with our original creations. Just last year, some of our partners saw engagement and click-through rates skyrocket by over 200% after switching from static images to Learfield Studios original content.

One of Learfield Studios’ top campaigns, “Those Who Stay,” highlights seven Michigan student-athletes returning for one more year to chase college football glory. This exclusive series deepens the bond between athletes and fans, creating a prime opportunity for brand sponsorship. Cheez-It joined the campaign, enhancing fan connection and boosting the brand’s return on investment (ROI).

The “Those Who Stay” campaign racked up over 9 million impressions, 5 million views, and nearly 400,000 engagements across all platforms.

2. Showcasing Brand Partners through NIL & School IP

By taking Learfield Studios custom content and leveraging school intellectual property (IP), brands forge genuine connections and elevate the fan experience with the content fans crave. Authentic storytelling allows brands to become part of the narrative, going beyond logos and product placements to tap into fan passions and bring new stories to life.

Take T-Mobile’s “Spilling the T in the SEC” series for example. By mixing in relatable, mobile-themed questions with athlete interviews, fans get to know their favorite players better, and it ties back to the brand organically. Sharing stories of athletes, coaches, mascots and fans in school gear across various channels allows brands to create authentic connections, all thanks to school IP and NIL.

3. Short Form Video, Scalable Social Media

Boosting brand awareness with snappy short-form videos on social media is why brands love sponsored content. It ensures consumers know the brand and its products by aligning messaging and maximizing visibility through logo placements, brand mentions and various touchpoints.

Learfield Studios content uniquely connects brands to authentic school and athlete stories. With our school partners and their passionate social media followers, we deliver genuine stories to a massive audience, providing a measurable and authentic way to reach hundreds of millions of fans.

4. Brand Integration vs. Sponsorship

Video series integration is all about weaving the brand partner’s story or product directly into the content. It’s not just about featuring the athlete or team but creating a narrative that highlights the brand as a central character. The brand becomes part of the story with the content focused on the brand as much, if not more than it is about the team or student-athlete. This approach fosters deep, memorable connections between the brand and the audience.

On the other hand, video brand sponsorship is more straightforward. Here, a brand supports content that the school would produce anyways, like game highlights or player interviews. The brand’s role is more about backing and associating with the content rather than being a central focus. This method increases brand visibility while keeping the primary spotlight on the athletes or teams, maintaining the school’s authentic voice and message.

5. NIL: Student Athletes as Influencers, Storytellers

NIL has revolutionized college sports by introducing student-athletes as powerful storytellers. Brands can now harness the authenticity and influence of these athletes, creating content that resonates deeply with fans. Content is one of the most effective ways to activate NIL, allowing brands to showcase athletes’ stories and personalities. This can be achieved not only through high-end video production but also with simple cell phone recordings, offering a raw, relatable glimpse into athletes’ lives.

Our new partner, Slate, will empower all Learfield employees to create sponsorable video content with student-athletes at the center. This platform streamlines content creation, ensuring that the athletes’ voices are heard and their stories are told in an engaging, authentic manner. By leveraging NIL through innovative and accessible content creation, brands can build genuine connections with fans, enhancing their visibility and fostering trust within the community.

6. One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Different Digital Products, Different Metrics

At Learfield we offer a variety of digital products, each designed to meet different brand goals. It’s all about picking the right tool based on the brand partners’ objectives. For example, if lead generation is their aim, we drive fan email sign-ups to connect brands directly with their audience, fostering deeper engagement and loyalty.

Take the American Airlines campaign with Texas: using engaging video content, we’ve driven significant social media engagement, prompting fans to sign up with their emails. This boosts brand visibility and builds a valuable database of engaged fans. Matching the right digital product with specific brand’s goals ensures maximum impact and results.