CHS Inc. will embark on a highly integrated collegiate sports sponsorship platform with 24 Division I universities in 19 states designed to reach the farmer-owned cooperative’s rural owners and customers.
The platform centers on college football season and will be driven primarily through digital and social media assets. Learfield Sports, athletics multimedia rights holder to 99 collegiate properties throughout the country, secured the multi-year CHS partnership on behalf of its 22 university partners involved – Colorado State, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Iowa State, K-State, University of Louisiana at Monroe, Louisiana Tech, Memphis, Minnesota, Mississippi State, Missouri, Missouri State, Montana, Montana State, Oklahoma State, Oregon State, Purdue, South Dakota, South Dakota State, Texas Tech and Wisconsin. Rounding out the 24 schools are North Dakota State and Nebraska.
“College sports are part of the fabric of rural communities. This partnership provides CHS with a meaningful way to reach the farmers, ranchers and cooperatives who own us and allows us to share agriculture’s story to a broad audience,” said Linda Tank, vice president, CHS Enterprise Marketing and Communication. “The strong digital component and opportunities to recognize farm families fit well with our rural values and commitment to agricultural technology and innovation.”
The comprehensive digital components of the CHS partnership are designed with the target audience in mind. CHS will sponsor a “Farm Family of the Year” photo contest powered by Learfield Sports and its digital partner Think Social. Fans will be encouraged to submit photos of themselves, family and friends wearing team gear in a sweepstakes driven via social engagement campaigns on the official Facebook accounts of each team with promotional support on the official school Websites. The two-week-long campaign will be driven by a heavy social media push and provide the winning family with a VIP home game experience.
“We’re excited to help CHS build brand awareness in both existing and new markets by tapping into the incredibly loyal and passionate collegiate fan base,” said Learfield Sports’ Executive Vice President, National Sales Roy Seinfeld. “We specialize in developing innovative programs for clients looking to capitalize on the massive platform that is college sports, and we are extremely happy to be partnering with CHS.”
In addition to the prominent digital and social media offerings for CHS, Learfield Sports manages the school radio networks respectively, giving CHS broad awareness through the extensive reach of live broadcasts during 12 football games per season. CHS also will receive significant presence during Ag Day. At many Learfield schools, Ag Day is held as a tribute to agriculture; complementing gameday features with a fan interactive area, sponsorship displays and various levels of engagement for agricultural college students and staff. CHS will also sponsor a single home game for every team to leverage exposure through activation, print, videoboard and hospitality.