Learfield Sports drafts a ringer

On the day of the College Football Playoff Championship game, Learfield Sports, which happened to have both Clemson and Alabama as clients, also added a key, new face to its umbrella, announcing that Keisha Taylor would be coming aboard as Senior VP -Integrated Marketing for the company, which now boasts 120+ collegiate programs in its roster. Taylor will now oversee marketing, graphics, research, client insights and ideation, events and training, and work with the company’s sales and digital teams in development of new social and mobile concepts for its client base as the company continues to expand its portfolio.

Cynopsis Sports asked Taylor about her jump from Turner Broadcasting, marketing college sports and corporate culture as she takes over the role.

Taylor on college sports: College sports are at an all-time high and Learfield is at its tipping point with respect to the tremendous expansion the organization has seen within the past few years and the growth that’s in our future. I was intrigued by the opportunity to work for a growing company where I can make a real impact on the legacy of a pioneer brand. Learfield also afforded me the opportunity to complete the coveted “media trinity” of marketing experience in news, sports and entertainment. But most of all, I joined Learfield because of the wonderful people whom I now work alongside every day. There’s a familial culture within this place that’s unlike any organization I’ve worked for.

On goals: Ultimately, my goal is to develop a best-in-class, client focused, integrated marketing team for the company. In this newly created position, I will provide leadership and strategy for the marketing operation that will help to drive sales growth. Also, I’ll work to elevate the scope and scale of Learfield’s brand awareness across the sports industry, as a whole; not just in collegiate sports.

On Turner: My takeaways about the industry can be easily summed up by the corporate culture motto Turner recently adopted – “More Fun. Less Fear. All In.” This industry is constantly changing, but we have to be “all in” with our dedication to growing the business. We must be fearless in trying new things and taking calculated risks. And if you’re not having fun in college sports, you’re doing something wrong!

On trends: College sports fans are typically well educated, diverse, affluent and loyalists. They are every marketer’s dream and major brands want a piece of that loyalty. The on-going trend we’re seeing is a desire for deeper consumer engagement. Clients recognize that engagement breeds loyalty and the traditional sponsorship offering is the baseline of engagement. They want, and fully expect, experiential opportunities and social media as part of the package, too. Additionally, we’re seeing more clients wanting to use sports as a gateway into larger partnership opportunities with universities.

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