Episode 1: Volleyball alum CC McGraw kicks off National Girls and Women in Sports Day
MINNEAPOLIS – University of Minnesota Athletics, in its ongoing commitment to spotlight the next generation of female leaders, launched its newest original content series, titled “Athletes in Leadership,” on National Girls and Women in Sports Day.
This marks the third video series produced in conjunction with Gopher sponsors Unilever and the Cubs and in conjunction with the university’s athletics multimedia rights holder, LEARFIELD’s Gopher Sports Properties. Additionally, LEARFIELD Studios serves as the Gophers’ creative development and production partner, as it did with the aforementioned Women in Leadership and Girls in Leadership series.
“We are grateful for the continued support of Unilever and the Cub of Gopher Athletics and especially our female student-athletes,” said Director of Athletics Mark Coyle. “They have partnered with four outstanding young women who are great ambassadors for their sport, athletics and university. I’m excited for Gopher fans to watch Athletes in Leadership and learn more about our future leaders in CC, Taylor, Maya and Taylor.”
Episode 1: “Athletes in Leadership” features volleyball graduate student CC McGraw. It’s now live on the special series page on GopherSports.com. Fans can watch the debut episode highlighting McGraw, who boasted a stellar five-year career for the Gophers while representing her home state. She talks openly about social media detox and the importance of setting boundaries around the frequency and use of engagement on social platforms.
Episodes 2-4 will also spotlight U of M female student-athletes, touching on other key themes that include body positivity, self-esteem and resilience. They candidly share their perspectives with fans and discuss how they choose to experience their daily life on campus while focusing on achieving their academic and athletic endeavors.
The next release schedule is as follows:
Episode 2 – Mya Hooten, Minnesota Gymnastics (February 8)
Episode 3 – Taylor Landfair, Minnesota Volleyball (February 15)
Episode 4 – Taylor Hayes, Minnesota Hockey (February 22)
For Unilever and Cub, the Athletes in Leadership series presents a unique opportunity to leverage their respective brands with the name, image and likeness of a student-athlete (NIL). As long-time corporate partners of the Gophers using university IP, Gopher Sports Properties ensures that the new NIL component is included in their current sponsorships. LEARFIELD, which does not represent student-athletes, helps its school and brand partners navigate the permissible ins and outs of NIL and brand engagement.
“We are proud to partner with Athletics and LEARFIELD Studios in providing a platform to showcase a handful of Gopher student-athletes who continue to do great work on and off the court, mat and ice,” said Gopher Sports Properties Vice President/General Manager Manager Greg Gerlach. “The continued support of Unilever and the Cubs has made this possible, and we are excited for Gopher fans to witness these student-athletes ‘Talk the Talk’ during the Athletes in Leadership Series.”
LEARFIELD is a leading media, data and technology services company in the field of interscholastic athletics. His Minneapolis-based Gopher Sports Properties team works alongside the entire athletic administration in total oversight of the overall multimedia rights relationship. LEARFIELD unlocks the value of college sports for brands and fans through an omnichannel platform with innovative content and commercial solutions. The company’s services include multimedia sponsorship licensing and management; publishing, audio, digital and social media; data analysis; ticketing, ticketing and professional concessions expertise; branding; campus-wide business development and sponsorship. Since 2008, it has served as the title sponsor of the award-winning LEARFIELD Directors’ Cup, supporting athletic departments across all divisions.