Learfield’s Impact on NIL: Trends, Athlete Success, and Future Opportunities

Last Updated on July 2, 2024

Learfield, a leading collegiate sports marketing company, continues to be at the forefront of media in college athletics. As the media rights holder for over 160 properties, Learfield excels in driving sponsorship sales and fan engagement through multimedia rights. They recently released the second installment of their NIL Impact Report, which highlights trends in the industry. The report is driven by the Compass NIL platform, which connects its brand partners with thousands of athletes for NIL opportunities. Further, Compass NIL has a proven track record that has been instrumental in licensing agreements between Fanatics and EA Sports’ College Football 25 video game. 

The NIL Impact Report revealed a significant milestone for Learfield, with over two thousand collegiate athletes engaging in Learfield NIL sponsorships, marking a remarkable 100% increase year over year. This surge in athlete participation underscores the growing popularity and success of the program. Furthermore, college athletes have collectively earned $13.6 million through Learfield-based sponsorships. Learfield’s partnership with over 12,000 brand partners has also been fruitful, with 43% female and 57% male collegiate athletes securing NIL deals. The median size of these deals, as mentioned above, was reported to be $3,000. 

“As NIL continues to evolve, Learfield is poised to help brand partners by providing unique NIL opportunities that deepen engagement with the country’s most passionate sports fans,” said Solly Fulp Learfield, EVP of NIL Growth & Development. 

Another area where Learfield aims to continue making its mark is in content and storytelling. Learfield Studios produces short-form and documentary-like content through athlete and school social and digital outlets. Moreover, Learfield’s efforts with athletic departments are to create on-campus centers of excellence, ensuring college athletes can access NIL opportunities such as the University of Alabama’s Alabama Advantage Center. 

Merchandise continues to be a cornerstone of NIL engagement regarding how fans interact with their favorite college athletes. The NIL report spotlights over $19 million in merchandise sales by way of NIL during the 2023-24 academic year. 

As NIL expands, Learfield remains committed to its mission. The company connects universities, brands, athletes, and fans, ensuring a future where collegiate sports and commerce thrive together. Learfield’s second NIL Impact Report reinforces its position in transforming college athletics through innovative NIL initiatives, driving substantial athlete participation and earnings growth.

Author

  • Darian Kelly

    Darian is a Sports Industry Management graduate of Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies. Darian hosts The Jersey Podcast and is a sports documentary fanatic who loves to talk professional and college football and basketball.

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