Learfield IMG College Launches Fanbase Data, Analytics Platform

Learfield IMG College has launched Fanbase – a comprehensive, fan-centric data and analytics platform. The new initiative is part of the company’s commitment to invest in fan connectivity, helping school partners build deeper fan profiles and enabling brand sponsors to digitally connect with college fans 365 days a year.

Combining behavioral data sets from official athletics sites with other sources of fan data – including ticketing, digital media, social media, and third-party appends – Fanbase will serve as the engine for university-specific databases at no cost to Learfield IMG College school partners. Through Fanbase, Learfield IMG College will help universities better understand their fans’ behaviors and how they live their digital lives – including how they use social media, where they shop, and how they consume content – through a comprehensive set of analytics dashboards, marketing solutions, and media offerings. These insights will allow universities to build richer fan profiles, unlocking growth across ticket sales, merchandise sales, donations, and sponsorship revenue. Additionally, Fanbase will help brand sponsors extend fan engagement beyond the traditional boundaries of school campuses and radio broadcasts through digital advertising and media, with unique, targeted messages and content.

“Given our connection to so many school partners, we have a responsibility to apply advanced data practices across the collegiate ecosystem to increase fan engagement, grow athletics revenue and extend sponsor brand association,” said Learfield IMG College President & CEO Cole Gahagan. “Beyond helping our universities deepen their connection to fans, we’re delivering a game changer in college sports marketing, and especially at this moment in time. Brand partners can now leverage Fanbase to digitally target the very fans who attend games and listen to broadcasts, reaching those fans 365 days a year.”

Working collaboratively with the company’s many university partners, Learfield IMG College already has begun initial Fanbase integrations at dozens of schools, including but not limited to Iowa, Northwestern, Oklahoma, TCU and Virginia Tech. Each school’s athletics department has existing partnerships in place with Learfield IMG College across multimedia rights, Paciolan for ticketing services, and SIDEARM Sports for website design and hosting.

“This is a tool that helps us build a profile of our fan base on a more detailed level, all in the hopes that we can serve them better. To be clear, this is not about sharing data so that others can contact our fans. That is not occurring. This is for internal use so that we can better understand and serve the people who support us,” said University of Oklahoma Vice President and Director of Athletics Joe Castiglione. “We’re excited about this step forward. For years we have been gathering data, but now our multi-media rights partner can help us make it more actionable, and it helps them approach the business partners that best fit our events and fan base.”

Through the company’s platform of multimedia rights, ticketing technology and services, website management, and licensing, Learfield IMG College touches nearly every aspect of a college fan’s experience. Each area will benefit from a deeper understanding of fans’ preferences and behaviors, allowing Learfield IMG College’s business units to serve partners more effectively and drive revenue growth across the college ecosystem.

“The breadth of our enterprise puts us in a unique position to lead this initiative for our school partners,” said Learfield IMG College Chief Content, Development & Strategy Officer Rob Schneider. “The cost and complexity of delivering this independently is prohibitive for most schools, but we see helping our university partners understand their fans holistically as a core component of our offering moving forward. Our long-term goal is to use fan data to drive value for all of our school partners, but partners that have multi-faceted relationships with us across our platform will see the most immediate and material benefits simply because we have more fan data to work with. The early response from schools has been overwhelmingly positive.”

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