IOWA CITY, Iowa — INFLCR and the University of Iowa are extending their multi-year department-wide partnership after a year where student-athlete usage saw growth in social media followings.
“The INFLCR platform allows student-athletes to build their brand and utilize our photos and videos to enhance their image,” said Kelsey Laverdiere, assistant director of athletics marketing and fan engagement. “As we work to prepare student-athletes for the next chapter in their lives, building a strong personal brand while at Iowa is key to their future success. INFLCR’s user-friendly platform makes it easy for all our student-athletes to engage and increase followers.”
Hawkeye student-athletes, coaches, staff and alumni in all sports will continue to receive content produced by University of Iowa athletics and national media sources. This is delivered instantly by the INFLCR software and mobile app.
INFLCR serves more than 100 NCAA athletic programs, representing more than 800 teams and 30,000 student-athletes. Iowa is the first Big Ten program to sign a department-wide agreement with INFLCR.
Highlights of Iowa’s first year with INFLCR include:
— 544 Iowa student-athletes were active users of the INFLCR app.
— Student-athletes logged almost 19,000 sessions in the app to access content in their personalized galleries.
— Student-athletes downloaded or shared more than 7,000 content items, reaching a social audience of almost 700,000 followers.
— Iowa uploaded more than 44,000 photos and videos to the INFLCR platform, using artificial intelligence-based tagging technology and integrations with storage platforms such as Sidearm, Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, Smugmug and PhotoShelter to achieve this distribution.
— Iowa student-athletes had access to hundreds of photos produced by USA Today IMAGN via a partnership with INFLCR.
“Iowa’s investment into content and the INLFCR content-distribution platform to empower its student-athletes is a win-win for the university and the athletes,” INFLCR founder and CEO Jim Cavale said. “With access to quality, real-time content at their fingertips, Hawkeyes can tell their story on social media to build personal brands, while at the same time increasing the reach for Iowa Athletics through the unique followers.”
Examples of this growth:
— Hawkeye All-American men’s basketball player Luka Garza grew his audience 143 percent during the 2019-20 season. He is one of six Iowa men’s basketball players to experience a follower-growth of more than 20 percent last season.
— Hawkeye women’s basketball player Kathleen Doyle grew her audience 45 percent in 2019. She and her teammates logged more than four app sessions each week during the season to access content, and their posts produced an average engagement rate triple that of the Iowa women’s basketball team accounts.
“This is setting Iowa up with a great story to tell as we enter an era where student-athletes will be able to monetize their name, image and likeness,” Cavale said.
“Iowa’s investment into content and the INLFCR content-distribution platform to empower its student-athletes is a win-win for the university and the athletes."Jim Cavale, INFLCR founder & CEO
“As they tell their story editorially on social-media channels like Instagram and Twitter, Hawkeyes are building followers and engagement that will be attractive to brands in the future. For current Hawkeyes, this is a tangible value they can leverage when they leave Iowa. In the future, active collegiate athletes will also be able to do this while competing in the NCAA.”
How It Works
INFLCR’s platform helps clients like Iowa send internal media and national photography content to personalized galleries for each of their student-athletes, coaches and other brand ambassadors.
Those student-athletes and brand ambassadors are able to access content galleries through the INFLCR mobile app, and can then share the content to their personal social media accounts.
Iowa is able to measure the increased audience engagement coming from the much larger collective audience of those athletes and brand ambassadors.
Iowa plans to use this approach to bolster its online presence in a way that impacts event attendance, recruiting, fundraising and other strategic goals.