LSU Athletics Customer Story - Hero Image
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LSU Athletics scores big, generates $13 million in earned value on social media

Customer
LSU Athletics
Industry
Higher Education
Location
United States
Featured Product
$13M
value generated for all social accounts in 2023
30.2%
increase in number of brand posts YoY
22.5M
increase in engagements

Challenge

Louisiana State University (LSU) has a strong tradition of fostering community and culture both within its classrooms and in the sports arena. This spirit is proudly showcased across the school’s social media accounts — particularly on those dedicated to LSU Athletics’ diverse sports teams.

Since 2021, LSU Athletics Chief Brand Officer Cody Worsham has led the athletic department’s social media strategy, overseeing both creative production and strategic communications. With 21 teams spanning 15 sports and as many as four accounts each to manage, Worsham understands the power of social media to amplify the LSU Athletics brand and fortify its position as an athletic juggernaut.

But he needed a comprehensive solution to effectively measure the brand’s social performance. Native analytics for each social media platform fail to provide the depth of insight or unified view that Worsham’s team needs to make informed, strategic decisions about social content that propel brand growth.

Worsham sought a robust technology solution that would:

  • Enable benchmarking against competitors to gain insight into market positioning
  • Empower LSU Athletics to measure the brand's performance effectively, providing deep insights that enable informed decision-making
  • Facilitate a more strategic approach to brand development and growth, fostering a deeper understanding of audience sentiment, engagement metrics and overall brand health
  • Enhance proactive brand and crisis management by providing tools for monitoring, analyzing and responding to online conversations effectively


Solution

To address these challenges and strengthen LSU Athletics’ social media presence and brand, Worsham implemented Sprinklr Insights. Sprinklr’s AI-powered platform provides the team with unified insights across social platforms and accounts, giving them deep insight into brand vitality.

Sprinklr is a critical pillar of our brand strategy at LSU Athletics. It’s an intuitive tool that gives incredibly in-depth measurements as well as 30,000-foot views of what we do, helping us share more aligned and strategic messages.”

Cody Worsham Headshot
Cody Worsham,
Chief Brand Officer
, LSU Athletics

Social scoreboard proves performance against competitors
LSU Athletics thrives on competition, both on and off the field. Utilizing Sprinklr’s integrated Competitive Insights and Benchmarking capabilities, LSU can meticulously assess the effectiveness of its social media strategy against rival schools.

“In college athletics, we have a very competitive internal culture, and so do our coaches and teams,” Worsham says. “They want to see how our social media efforts measure up to what competitors are doing on social. Sprinklr enables us to do that in real time, providing a scouting report to ensure that we are competing at the highest level.”

Driving high-value sponsorship through strategic social listening
LSU Athletics leverages Sprinklr's social listening capabilities to gain invaluable insights into online conversations surrounding its brand. By strategically leveraging this data, LSU optimizes its content to drive high-value sponsorships. A prime example of this strategy in action is the promotion of The Climb, an Emmy award-winning docuseries chronicling the journey of the LSU Gymnastics team.

Worsham and his team recognized the immense potential of The Climb as a pivotal component of the gymnastics program’s social strategy. They tagged every post related to the series and measured its impact, showcasing its significant value to potential investors. Armed with comprehensive engagement metrics, Worsham effectively demonstrated the series' impact to sponsors, resulting in multiple partnerships for season two.

“We are able to show that partnering with LSU Athletics entails not just signage in the stadium or a radio show mention,” explains Worsham. “Our social media presence amplifies value for sponsors. With Sprinklr, we can show them the return on their investment.”

Powerful campaigns keep LSU Athletics top-of-mind
Social listening also helps inform cross-platform strategies to generate buzz about LSU Athletics’ programs and athletes. In 2023, Jayden Daniels, a standout quarterback on the LSU Football team, emerged as a Heisman Memorial Trophy candidate, the award for the most outstanding player in college football. Worsham and his team used data gleaned from social listening to plan their campaign, tracking mentions of their player against competitors and analyzing volume, reach and sentiment associated with those mentions.

“At LSU Athletics, while we prioritize fan and donor engagement, we also recognize the need to reach Heisman Memorial Trophy voters, which is a distinct audience,” Worsham says. “We needed to know how to reach them and when — and how to share the right message in the right tone. With Sprinklr, we could figure those things out based on real-time conversations.”

These listening capabilities have empowered LSU Athletics to maximize impact at critical moments with impactful, on-brand messaging. During the week of the Pac-12 Conference championship game in Las Vegas, LSU’s Heisman candidate was not playing, but two rival candidates were. To ensure their player remained in the spotlight, Worsham’s team executed a bold campaign, erecting a billboard in the city. Leveraging Sprinklr Insights, the team observed a favorable response from the intended audience.

“The data not only informed our strategy but also became part of the story,” says Worsham. “We could show how our player was dominating the conversation just as much as the field, which had a ripple effect. Our owned media became earned media, as more and more people started writing stories about how well he was doing.”

Deep insights inform crisis communications
With a background in public relations and journalism, Worsham has an intuition for how to respond to crises, but asking stakeholders to trust your gut on crisis communications can be a challenge. Now, if coaches or administrators are concerned about a particular topic, Worsham can provide metrics on volume, reach and sentiment to show them how people are reacting in the real world.

“Crisis communications is all about pulling people together, unifying your message and responding quickly,” Worsham says. “Intuition matters, but now I have access to data points that I can use, which provide invaluable insights and help guide our response efforts.”

Outcome

LSU Athletics has elevated its social media strategy to stand out against the competition.

In 2023, it achieved the number one spot in the country for women’s basketball, track and field, baseball and gymnastics in terms of social media engagement. The department also published 30.2% more brand posts than the prior year and achieved an overall increase of 22.5 million engagements (likes, comments, shares).

To determine value from LSU Athletics’ social media activities, Worsham analyzed individual posts and campaigns on a platform-by-platform basis. He then applied a sophisticated value model based on industry-standard cost-per-thousand metrics. He determined that, in 2023, his team’s efforts notched more than $13 million in accrued value across all its accounts on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, X and TikTok.

“Our growth over the past few years is absolutely a direct result of the success of our teams, coaches and athletes,” says Worsham. "But being more strategic with our messaging has enhanced that success. Sprinklr helps us refine our messaging and share our brand as effectively as possible.”