Learfield Dives Into Branded Content With Facebook Live College Coach’s Corner Series

Last month, collegiate-marketing giant Learfield kicked of a new branded-content plan built around Facebook Live, the Facebook Live College Coach’s Corner series. Beginning with four universities — Iowa State, Miami, Oklahoma, and Texas A&M — on-campus video teams will produce 10-minute episodes featuring live interviews with head coaches, offering an interactive experience for fans on the athletic departments’ designated Facebook pages.

Scott Carlis, SVP, Digital Media, Learfield

Scott Carlis, SVP, Digital Media, Learfield

“The audience size [with Facebook] is incredible,” says Scott Carlis, SVP, digital media, Learfield. “Facebook is designed for sharing and for community and passion. When you are talking about collegiate sports, there’s no greater passion point in people’s lives. So the ability to dive deeper and create these immersive, snackable pieces of content built around what [fans] are most passionate about is an amazing opportunity.”

So how is this actually getting done? Learfield has representatives embedded at all of the major athletic departments that it has partnered with. Those reps work in coordination with the programs’ sports-information, marketing, and video-production departments to produce the episodes in-house.

According to Carlis, some of the schools are doing full productions with cameras, switchers, and dialing in through Facebook’s API. Others are going straight from a smartphone with no production enhancements.

Facebook Live College Coach’s Corner is a branded-content initiative supported by Nissan. According to Carlis, live social streaming — specifically, Facebook Live — is an area of sponsorship engagement of growing interest to Learfield sponsors.

“[Our sponsors] want to identify and create these amazing moments,” says Carlis, who just came over to Learfield from AEG Global Partnerships in April. “How can a brand partner with Learfield, and how can we produce things that makes those already once-in-a-lifetime experiences that much more memorable? How can a brand play a hero in bringing these unprecedented moments?”

The initiative will be promoted through various digital and social-media platforms, with fans encouraged to engage and submit questions and topics before and during each episode.

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