UFL Names Legends as the Exclusive Event and eCommerce Merchandise Partner for the League

UFL x Legends

The United Football League (UFL) today announced that Legends, a global premium experiences company and leading provider of innovative merchandise solutions, will serve as the Official Event and eCommerce Partner of the UFL.

Under this partnership, Legends’ Global Merchandise division will oversee event merchandise sales, including in-stadium shopping experiences for fans attending UFL events and eCommerce operations, including the League’s online retail platform, shop.theufl.com.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with Legends as our exclusive event and eCommerce partner,” said Ryan Segers, Vice President of Consumer Products at the UFL. “Their proven track record of delivering high-quality merchandise and creating engaging fan experiences aligns perfectly with our vision for the UFL. Together, we aim to elevate the fan experience both online and in-person, setting a new standard for excellence in sports merchandise.”

Legends brings extensive experience in the sports and entertainment industry, specializing in creating unique merchandise programs that resonate with fans across the globe. Their expertise in eCommerce and event merchandise operations will be vital in enhancing the UFL fan experience and driving revenue growth for both parties.

The partnership between Legends and UFL will also see the company design and produce merchandise for the League.

“We are excited to partner with UFL to offer fans of all ages comprehensive merchandise offerings to sport their fandom and celebrate their favorite teams,” said Kirta Carroll, President, Legends Global Merchandise. “In addition to handling the league’s omnichannel merchandise, we are looking forward to partnering with the UFL to design and produce exclusive products for fans as a licensee partner.”

Click here for the 2024 schedule and broadcast details.

Enhancing Alumni Engagement

Strategies for Connecting with Recent Graduates

The value of creating strong connections between recent graduates and their alma mater is pivotal in maintaining lifelong connections with alumni. Through personalized outreach methods and highlighting the array of services available, institutions can effectively nurture alumni involvement. In this post, we will share both the strategies and supporting data that shows how effective they are at engaging graduating seniors and fostering a sense of belonging within the alumni community. 

Industry wide, strategies should be set in place to ensure the first communication with recent graduates is not a solicitation. Establishing rapport with recent graduates is extremely important for institutions seeking to cultivate a thriving alumni network. To develop a better relationship with your constituents and increase their lifetime engagement and value, your institution must get beyond the perception of being transactional—or only contacting constituents when you’re seeking a donation. One of the key ways to build that relationship is by sharing with graduating seniors about the opportunities for ongoing engagement with the Alumni Association. By leveraging targeted communication and comprehensive support through Engagement Center outreach, universities can facilitate a seamless transition from student to alumnus. 

Personalized Outreach

  • Utilizing the Engagement Center for 1:1 Outreach: Personalized congratulatory messages via phone calls, voicemails, and text messages enhance the likelihood of engaging graduating seniors. Leveraging multiple communication channels ensures broader outreach and fosters a sense of connection. At a Legends Philanthropy property, data reveals a significant response rate among graduating seniors, with a 16% pick-up rate for phone calls compared to 5% across all alumni populations, and a 14% pick-up rate for those who have graduated between 2020-present. 
  • Importance of Updating Demographic Information: Ensuring accurate demographic information is vital for effective outreach. Encouraging graduating seniors to update their contact details enables institutions to maintain communication and provide relevant updates post-graduation. By keeping demographic information current, institutions can tailor outreach efforts to individual preferences and enhance the overall alumni experience. 
  • Harnessing the Power of Phone Communication: Despite the prevalence of digital communication, phone calls remain a powerful tool for engaging younger audiences. Graduating seniors exhibit a higher response rate to phone outreach, making it an invaluable avenue for establishing meaningful connections. 
  • Strategic Voicemail Campaigns: Compelling voicemails encourage recent graduates to save the Alumni Association’s contact information and explore opportunities for engagement. Voicemail messages serve as an effective means of diversifying communication and expanding outreach beyond solicitation efforts. 
  • Introducing Text Messaging: Integrating text messaging into 1:1 outreach initiatives enables institutions to capitalize on a burgeoning communication channel. Educating graduating seniors about the Alumni Association’s initiatives via text messages enhances engagement and facilitates ongoing dialogue. 

Emphasizing Post-Graduation Engagement

  • Addressing Alumni Association Benefits: Many recent graduates express a desire to stay connected with their alma mater post-graduation, yet may be unaware of the available resources. Institutions should elucidate the myriad benefits of alumni engagement, including access to career services, alumni tours, regional alumni clubs, attending events, and other opportunities that will resonate with recent graduates.
  • Highlighting Career Services: Positioning career services as a central component of post-graduation engagement is a leading tactic to help keep graduating seniors engaged with their alma mater as they embark on their job search. Data suggests that 92% of graduating seniors express interest in engaging with the Alumni Association after graduation, compared to an engagement rate of 74% overall. 
  • Facilitating Alumni Tours: Organizing alumni tours offers recent graduates an opportunity to reconnect with their alma mater and forge lasting bonds with fellow alumni. These immersive experiences foster a sense of nostalgia and strengthen alumni ties to the institution. 
  • Cultivating Alumni Clubs: Establishing alumni clubs based on shared interests or geographical locations cultivates a sense of community among recent graduates. These clubs serve as hubs for networking, socializing, and professional development, enriching the alumni experience. 
  • Attending Events: Encouraging recent graduates to participate in events such as game watch parties or webinars fosters continued engagement with the university community. These gatherings provide opportunities for networking, skill-building, and camaraderie, reinforcing the bond between alumni and their alma mater. 

Engaging recent graduates is instrumental in sustaining a vibrant alumni community and fortifying the bond between alumni and their alma mater. By implementing targeted outreach strategies and highlighting the myriad benefits of alumni engagement, institutions can effectively nurture lasting connections with graduating seniors, which will increase overall engagement and lead to a higher likelihood of giving.

Through ongoing support and personalized communication, Legends has consistently helped our partners in higher ed cultivate a culture of lifelong affiliation, enriching the alumni experience for generations to come. Connect with us to learn innovative strategies and best practices that ensure every graduate becomes an active, contributing member of your alumni community.

Expanding Alumni Magazine Audiences

Enhance magazine readership with digital ads

Alumni magazines serve as a vital link between universities and their graduates, telling stories that foster pride, connection, and community. Yet, the evolving landscape of content consumption presents a challenge: ensuring these stories reach the eyes of the current readership and the broader alumni network. We explore one approach to expanding the audience for these cherished publications, turning pages into pixels and impressions into interactions.

Expanding Influence: Why Magazine Engagement Matters

Enhancing alumni magazine readership goes beyond mere numbers; it’s about deepening understanding of the institution’s mission and fostering a sense of community. Engaged readers become more aligned with university values and are more likely to contribute, both in terms of participation and philanthropy. Moreover, increased engagement opens doors to retargeting opportunities, allowing institutions to tailor further communications and invitations based on reader interests and behaviors. This strategic approach amplifies the reach of alumni stories and strengthens the alumni network, creating a more vibrant, interconnected community.

Precision-Targeted Digital Engagement

With paid media, alumni associations can bridge the gap between content and consumer. This approach isn’t just about casting a wider net; it’s about crafting a smarter one. By leveraging the detailed demographic data and online behaviors of alumni, universities can:

  • Spotlight special features and historical milestones, bringing significant events to the forefront of alumni consciousness.
  • Highlight niche areas and unique programs, illuminating the lesser-known corners of the institution that spark surprise and interest.
  • Enhance philanthropy education through immersive storytelling, illustrating the tangible impacts of alumni contributions.
  • Showcase alumni spotlights, leveraging the compelling narratives of distinguished graduates to deepen the sense of connection and pride.

Strategies to Elevate Magazine Readership Through Ads

  1. Data-Driven Targeting: Utilize alumni databases to create targeted ad campaigns on platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google, reaching alumni with high precision based on their interests and online behaviors.
  2. Highlight Must-Read Content: Create ads that showcase intriguing articles, exclusive interviews, or compelling stories from the latest issue, sparking curiosity and encouraging clicks.
  3. Retargeting Campaigns: Implement retargeting strategies to re-engage visitors of the magazine’s online platform who didn’t subscribe or explore content during their first visit.
  4. Event and Milestone Promotions: Use digital ads to promote magazine content that highlights upcoming events, significant milestones, or achievements within the alumni community, creating a buzz and fostering a sense of pride and belonging.
  5. Engagement Tracking and Optimization: Monitor the performance of ad campaigns in real-time, allowing for quick adjustments to messaging, targeting, or creative elements to maximize engagement and readership.

A Case of Success: Transforming Impressions into Impact

The proof of this strategy’s effectiveness lies in a campaign that propelled one university’s digital magazine article to unprecedented visibility. By serving an additional 88,000 ad impressions, the campaign catalyzed around 11,000 new interactions—from article reads to video views—at a remarkably efficient cost of just $0.09 per interaction. This approach yielded 30% more pageviews than the magazine’s e-newsletter and attracted a significantly younger readership, expanding the magazine’s reach and relevance.

Discover how to harness the power of digital ads to magnify your magazine’s reach. Download our case study to learn how you can apply these strategies at your institution. Begin transforming your alumni magazine’s potential today and watch as the pages of your university’s story unfold in the hands of alumni across the globe.

Turning Absense into Attendance

Digital Strategies to Engage First-Time Event Alumni

Universities and alumni associations stand at the crossroads of tradition and innovation, constantly seeking ways to strengthen their bond with the alumni community. Amid this quest lies a group often overlooked: the unengaged alumni. These individuals, despite their lack of interaction, hold the potential to become active, contributing members of the alumni network. This narrative unveils a strategic approach to capture their attention and transform them into enthusiastic participants in the university’s vibrant life.

Boosting Alumni Event Attendance: A Strategy for Engagement

Events serve as the heartbeat of alumni relations, offering unforgettable experiences that resonate with attendees long after the curtains close. Yet, the challenge of drawing in those who have drifted away remains. How do you engage alumni who have never attended your events?

Boosting Event Attendance with Digital Ads

Traditional communication methods like email can’t always reach the alumni we most want to engage, leading universities to turn to more effective solutions. Digital ads offer a unique opportunity to connect with these alumni, presenting a chance to promote university events in a way that’s both eye-catching and targeted. These ads can reach alumni where they’re most active online, from social media to browsing their favorite websites, and offer customization options to ensure the right message gets to the right people. By leveraging the power of digital advertising, universities can increase awareness of their events and significantly boost attendance, re-engaging alumni in meaningful ways and fostering a stronger community connection.

Targeted Strategies to Reach Unengaged Alumni

To engage alumni who haven’t attended events, universities can dive deep into audience analysis, tapping their CRM to segment alumni based on their engagement levels. This data enables the creation of targeted ad strategies across display ads for visibility, social media for engagement, and search ads for direct interest capture. Tailoring messages specifically for this group ensures relevance and resonance. Additionally, deploying lookalike audiences on platforms like Facebook and Google Ads expands reach to similar profiles, potentially interested but previously unengaged individuals, significantly increasing the likelihood of event attendance and active participation.

The Proof is in the Participation: A Success Story Unfolds

The impact of this type of approach is both measurable and profound. At one partner institution, we launched a 12-week campaign that saw more than 429,000 impressions served, leading to 82 previously unengaged constituents stepping through the doors of an event. This remarkable achievement, attained at a cost of $52 per attendee, underscores the latent interest among alumni. They are not disinterested; they simply await the right invitation.

This strategy transcends mere attendance, laying the groundwork for deeper engagement. It’s about enriching the alumni tapestry with diverse threads, from those attending their first event to future advocates for the university. By extending the invitation far and wide, universities can transform the narrative of alumni relations, turning silent observers into active, passionate participants.

Build strategies to increase your engagement

Learn how targeted digital advertising can revitalize your alumni events and open doors to untapped potential. Dive into our case study and discover the keys to unlocking the hearts and minds of your unengaged alumni. Together, let’s create a future where every alumni feels connected, engaged, and inspired to participate in the life of their alma mater.

A’s Hire Legends to Lead Sales for New Ballpark in Las Vegas

A's x Legends

The Athletics and Legends today announced a partnership in which the global premium experiences company will manage premium seating and ticket sales for the Club’s new ballpark in Las Vegas. 

“We are excited to embark on this long-term partnership that will lead to the opening of our transformational ballpark in Las Vegas,” said A’s president Dave Kaval. “Legends’ extensive industry experience and intricate knowledge of the local market will help us create products that meet the needs of our fans while building a successful ballpark experience.”

Legends will deliver strategic consulting and go-to-market analysis, product design and development consultation, strategy and execution for premium and suite sales, initial valuation work, staffing, and valuable marketplace insights. Additionally, Legends will build a dedicated team for the A’s based in Las Vegas to focus on sales execution. 

“We are honored for the opportunity to partner with the A’s and help bring their bold vision of delivering a first-class hospitality experience to their fans and the Las Vegas community,” said Mike Ondrejko, President of Legends Global Sales. “From the moment we started working with Dave and his team on our initial feasibility study, there has been alignment in our data-driven approach in optimizing design and marketing strategy. We are excited to build on this collaboration by applying our global experience and expertise to serve the A’s on the sales execution of their new stadium.”  

The A’s initially engaged Legends in 2021 through its research arm, CSL, to conduct a comprehensive study on the opportunity for the Club to establish a new permanent home in Las Vegas. Legends’ Global Sales team has extensive experience partnering on the most ambitious sports projects, including the opening of Allegiant Stadium, SoFi Stadium, and Notre Dame Stadium, to deliver record-breaking results. Legends is also currently partnered with FC Barcelona, San Diego FC, and the Buffalo Bills in developing the financial model, stadium design, data capture and analysis, and strategic planning to support the sales execution efforts of their respective stadium development projects.

Legends and Blueprint Sports Announce a Strategic Partnership to Combine and Enhance Industry-Leading NIL Solutions

Blueprint Sports and Legends bring an enhanced professional solution for NIL collectives at Power Five universities nationwide.

Legends, a global premium experiences company, and Blueprint Sports (BPSE), the industry leader in full-service name, image, and likeness (NIL) collectives, have formed a strategic partnership that will provide NIL collectives and Power Five universities with an unmatched NIL infrastructure, bolstering professional operational capacities, service offerings, and NIL industry expertise. The result will be the industry-leading NIL (Name, Image, and Likeness) solution, setting the standard for NIL and student-athlete sports marketing.

Legends College and Blueprint Sports will collaborate to support student-athletes and the rapidly evolving college athletics NIL landscape. Together, they will amplify and build sustainable revenue opportunities for NIL collectives under the BPSE umbrella, focusing on philanthropic fundraising, student-athlete sponsorships, memberships, exclusive events, and merchandise fulfillment.

“The college athletics landscape has undergone rapid transformation,” stated Mike Behan, President of Legends College. “Through our close collaboration with partners during this dynamic period, Legends is acutely aware of the significant opportunities stemming from NIL, as well as the challenge in establishing sustainable revenue models for NIL collectives. Our partnership with Blueprint Sports is positioned to address this challenge, offering an unparalleled solution for universities and NIL collectives to generate long-term revenue in support of student-athletes.”

“Balancing the traditional institutional legacy of college athletics with the new era of Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) can be a delicate task,” said Rob Sine, CEO of Blueprint Sports. “Our collaboration with Legends enables our teams to combine their extensive knowledge, proven track records, and resources to provide the most comprehensive and forward-facing solution to an industry undergoing tremendous change. Our goal is to continue guiding the college sports industry, athletic departments, conferences, and collectives in the right direction while maximizing the impact of NIL on student-athletes and their programs.”

Both companies have partnerships involving the University of Kansas, the University of Maryland, the University of Utah, and Villanova University. BPSE powers collectives that support student-athletes at each university, and Legends College’s partnerships with each span multiple services across the company’s holistic solution. These universities will be the first to benefit from Legends and BPSE’s new strategic partnership. Across its portfolio, BPSE powers collectives at more than 25 universities nationwide, including twelve Power-Five universities, presenting an incredible opportunity for both companies to grow and expand within the industry together.   

Legends’ college business has grown exponentially over the past 10-plus years and includes partnerships with leading universities, collegiate organizations, and events. Born out of the impact Legends continues to have across the collegiate landscape, Legends College was launched in November 2023 and provides a 360-degree service solution including research, project development, premium ticket sales, sponsorships, food and beverage, merchandise, business intelligence, marketing and philanthropic fundraising and engagement. The partnership with BPSE expands and enhances Legends’ NIL proficiency across its services.