Learfield Chief Revenue Officer Andy Rawlings believes the collegiate marketer hit a “home run” with STRIVR Labs, now Learfield’s Official VR Partner as of Wednesday.
The new partnership will allow STRIVR, which recently raised $5 million in funding, to not only create virtual reality experiences for Learfield’s 120-plus schools and their fan bases, but also outside the playing arena to encompass the universities, classroom technology and development.
“We couldn’t be more excited about this partnership with Learfield,” Derek Belch, Co-Founder and CEO of STRIVR said in a statement. “Learfield intimately understands the many facets of our business and how STRIVR can benefit universities and brand partners. We’ve seen VR thrive across university athletic programs, from performance training to marketing and fan experiences. I expect to see some outstanding, fast results in a number of different areas.”
Over the past two years, STRIVR has worked with dozens of college athletic departments such as Texas Tech and Stanford along with professional teams and sports properties like the Boston Red Sox, New England Patriots, PGA TOUR and Chicago Bears. Through the use of HTC Vive, Samsung Gear VR and Oculus Rift headsets in addition to just YouTube and Facebook 360 video, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company has created a number of experiences for blue-chip brands as well, including Lowe’s, Visa and Pepsi.
One of the main goals with the STRIVR-Learfield alliance will be to similarly leverage STRIVR’s traditional offerings into more experiential and branded content for its schools while also providing data-driven insights around fan engagement and user behavior within the virtual reality experience.
“Without a doubt, we know our partnership with STRIVR will be a true differentiator, one that will create the uniquely personal touch of immersive experiences that brands want in building deeper connections and adding maximum value and engagement with their core consumers, but also provide the reach of traditional digital media,” Scott Carlis, Learfield Senior Vice President of Digital Media said in a statement. “Our university relationships provide us the opportunity to bring scale to the amazing medium of VR, with a proven leader in the space already doing exceptional work in collegiate and professional sports.”