The initiative gives fans close up access to the college football stars of yesterday made NFL stars today.
Looking for an opportunity to connect with your favorite college football players from yesteryear but thinking it is out of reach? The NFL Players Association latest partnership with The Brandr Group is making fans’ desires a reality.
The NFLPA and its content and production affiliate ACE Media joined The Brandr Group to create CampusLore, which launched September 1.
The new initiative taps into digital and social media to give fans access to special features, interviews, weekly shows and in-depth game analysis. It is the first media brand to present feedback and analysis on college football directly from NFL athletes via the NFLPA’s group player rights.
Former college stars such as Deshaun Watson, Leonard Fournette, A.J. McCarron and Mitch Trubisky will be featured, along with hundreds of other gridiron greats.
These athletes carved their legacies in college football, so the NFLPA and its collegiate licensing agency, The Brandr Group, wanted to give fans an opportunity to tap into minds of the experts. ACE Media, the athlete-driven content and production company, jumps into the partnership as the production services vehicle for CampusLore content.
Wesley Haynes, President and CEO of The Brandr Group, explains how opportunities can positively impact all involved.
“We want to cover more teams and more schools, maybe even less-known NFL players who are huge heroes in college towns across America. College football is a year-round business. Coaches change, players change, the recruiting process happens, new programs emerge — there are endless stories to tell.”
Digital and social media are both vital platforms within the sports business world. Each provides opportunity for the blossoming of deeper relationships with consumers, especially when it is open, transparent, and interactive. Haynes gives insight to how CampusLore taps into this idea.
“Given that digital and social media viewership continues to explode, CampusLore puts good, watchable content from a player’s perspective, that is relatively vacant in the college space today, into the hands of fans whenever they want to consume it.”
Accessibility can promote fan engagement, so the idea that CampusLore is there when and where fans want it will be a great asset. Fans are given the opportunity to be connected to their favorite athletes, so the partnership has a high social value as well.
The idea taps into the most emotional aspect of sports — fans being “in the know” with their favorite teams and athletes. Fans crave the opportunity to see what goes on behind the scenes of their beloved college football programs, so CampusLore will only continue to strengthen fan loyalty and program brands.
Haynes gave insight on how fans were part of the inspiration behind the partnership saying, “We knew the marketplace, whether it was schools, fans, alumni, or sponsors, wanted access to players. They wanted to hear their thoughts in their own voice — to hear their stories. We also saw the void in the collegiate marketplace with stories concerning college football directly from the players that actually play the game and know it best.”
We have observed the Netflix series “Last Chance U” take off in the past couple seasons. Even though viewers may not be fans of East Mississippi Community College or Independence Community College of Kansas, they still tune in to see what it is like behind the scenes in a collegiate football program. There is nothing quite like the blood, sweat and tears first hand.
It is interesting to observe this partnership following the recent retired NFL athletes transitioning into broadcasting. The partnership can be considered a skill building experience for the athletes to market themselves after their football careers come to an end. “It allows players to extend and further their brand, names, and reputation,” said Haynes.
CampusLore has plans to continue to develop cutting-edge content. Haynes was able to share with us some of the future plans of CampusLore, via its partner ACE Media.
“Expect more in the series of ‘Coming Home,’ which will focus on players making the pilgrimage back to their campuses. Additionally, we are hoping for more regular content on how the season is playing out and what players and teams are doing well and why, all from the players’ point of view. We also plan to launch a weekly show for social media platforms featuring NFL players and former college stars focusing on current topics and their takes on each week’s games.”
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