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The Power Of Storytelling With LEARFIELD’s Solly Fulp

Guest Solly Fulp, LEARFIELD
18:32 min watch


LEARFIELD Executive Vice President for NIL Growth & Development Solly Fulp sits down with ADU’s Steph Garcia Cichosz at the 2024 PACnet to discuss LEARFIELD’s approach to NIL based on its long-standing relationships with brands and collegiate partners. As the caretaker of all commercial IP rights for hundreds of institutions, Fulp asserts that LEARFIELD is the largest in the landscape in terms of corporate engagement activity and has the “people power” to support sales, activation and fulfillment needs on the ground, making it an attractive partner in the development of an NIL deal. Fulp and Garcia-Cichosz delve into the power of storytelling and the importance of securing the right brand when marketing and promoting a student-athlete’s personal story via an NIL partnership.

Fulp also reflects on his personal journey as a walk-on student-athlete, noting that the experience continues to inspire him to run “to the chaos” when it comes to approaching challenges.

The conversation is indexed below for efficient viewing (click the time stamp to jump to a specific question/topic).

  • - Why did LEARFIELD decide to enter the NIL space?
  • - How has the definition of success for NIL deals evolved since July 2021?
  • - How do you navigate the dynamic between a brand deciding to allocate resources to an institution or to allocate those same resources to a student-athlete via an NIL partnership?
  • - How does that brand loyalty and the value of that IP change if we see some of these big challenges come to fruition, such as FBS breaking away or a shift to a Power 2 conference system or student-athletes becoming employees? 
  • - What have been some of the more effective uses of storytelling in NIL deals that LEARFIELD helped facilitate?
  • - What do you say to fans or outsiders who only see the negatives of NIL versus the enrichment aspects of it for student-athletes?
  • - Tell me about your experience as a walk-on student-athlete. How did that impact your thinking to hear: "You're not a scholarship athlete; if you want to do this, you've got to do it on your own."
  • - How does your walk-on mentality impact the way you lead?
  • - We're talking about connecting student-athletes with the appropriate NIL brand partnership in order to best tell their stories - what would that perfect brand partner be for you during your time as a student-athlete?