University of Alabama and Learfield extend and expand media deal

Alabama has extended its multimedia rights agreement with Learfield to 15 years, in a deal that adds elements for names, images and likenesses, new content and more access to data and analytics. Financial terms of the deal have not been released, but it is believed to be one of the most lucrative in the country alongside Ohio State and Texas, both of which are also Learfield customers. Alabama’s previous contract with Learfield, signed in 2014, ran for 10 years and guaranteed the Crimson Tide more than $160 million. This deal was negotiated before the arrival of the current AD Greg Byrne. In the decade since Alabama negotiated its last multimedia rights deal, the higher education landscape has changed dramatically, as reflected in the content of the latest deal:

  • A new content platform created in collaboration with Learfield Studios.
  • New access to data and analytics from Learfield’s Fanbase Platform.
  • A dedicated NIL center called The Advantage Center, which will be the heart of the school for NIL activities and home to its dedicated staff who provide education and resources for athletes and their commercial activities.
  • Alabama and Learfield will work together to develop the new Advantage Center into a showcase for NIL relationships at its new location at Bryant-Denny Stadium adjacent to The Authentic, the Fanatics-managed Tide retail store.

Alabama’s relationship with Learfield extends to Sidearm Sports for the official sports website and Paciolan for ticket sales. CLC has also acted as Tide’s licensing agent since 1981. These agreements are negotiated separately from the multimedia rights. Jim Karabin, Learfield’s GM for the Alabama property, oversees Tide’s multimedia rights, which include the corporate sponsorship program. Alabama consulted Dan Gale of Leona throughout the process, Byrne said. The Crimson Tide has been with Learfield since 1998.

Byrne said through the school, “Continuing the partnership with Learfield will provide us with the resources and innovative solutions to fulfill our mission of providing the best possible student-athlete and fan experiences. The new NIL Center and plans for exciting new content for our fans are just a few examples of how Learfield will continue to help us be at the forefront of collegiate athletics for years to come.”

Learfield President/CEO Cole Gahagan added, “From industry-leading data management and content to a unique NIL destination for Crimson Tide student athletes, the investments Learfield and Alabama are making to benefit fans, brands and student athletes are exceptional.”