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Ah, the college scene—a goldmine for savvy companies looking to crack the market. Fresh-faced students, eager to break free from the shackles of mom and pop’s brand loyalty, are ripe for the picking. They’re social media gurus, innovation aficionados, and campuses are packed to the rafters with potential buyers just waiting to be wowed. Plus, let’s not forget, these youngsters have a whole lifetime of consumerism ahead of them.

But hold up, folks! Tuition fees have skyrocketed faster than a caffeine-fueled student cramming for finals. And let’s face it, many college seniors have hit rock bottom in the financial department at some point. So, how do you get these perpetually broke students to open their wallets?

Enter PlayBooked, we have infiltrated college campuses like Pat McAfee on College GameDay.  With our nationwide network of student athletes, we’re not just rubbing elbows in the chaos of the student union lunch rush, we’re diving headfirst into the trenches of the local college bars. Thanks to the real insights from real college kids, we’ve been slinging marketing magic since NIL legislation passed in 2021 allowing student athletes to make money endorsing products and services. We’ve picked up some killer insights along the way.


College athletes aren’t just players on the field; they’re the beating heart of their campus communities. They’re the ones who know everyone, from their teammates and study partners to their dorm buddies and club mates. With their fingers on the pulse of campus life, they’re like walking, talking social hubs.

And let’s be real here—when one of these popular student athletes speaks up, it’s like the whole campus hits pause to listen. They command attention in a way that no slick marketing exec ever could. After all, who would you trust more: a relatable athlete you see every day, or some corporate suit you’ve never met?

That’s the power of peer influence in action. It’s not about bombarding students with flashy ads or catchy slogans; it’s about forging genuine connections through real social interactions. When your brand shows up authentically in the places where students live, study, and hang out, you’re not just selling a product—you’re becoming part of their world.

And let me tell you, in the college scene, honesty and authenticity are like gold. Students can spot a phony from a mile away, and they’ll flock to brands that speak their language and share their values. So if you want to win over the hearts and minds of college students, skip the shallow advertising tactics and opt for genuine, meaningful engagement. Trust me, it’s a game-changer.


College students aren’t exactly hitting the road every day, so those towering billboards might as well be invisible. And who has time to flip through magazines for fun when you’re buried under textbooks? Nope, for these folks, the social channels are where it’s at.

If you want to grab their attention, you’ve gotta get crafty with your campaign content. Think outside the box, throw in some fun, and watch those engagement numbers soar.

Now, here’s the deal with Gen Z: they’re savvy. They see through all those marketing gimmicks like a pro, and they’re not afraid to scroll past brand ads to get to the good stuff—pics from their favorite people.

Enter: Micro Influencers. These mini-celebs (athletes) pack a punch, with nearly half of Gen Z making purchases based on their recommendations. When your ad seamlessly blends into their feed via someone they adore, it’s less like an intrusion and more like a friendly tip from a buddy.


College students are no strangers to the cash crunch, and showing them a little empathy can go a long way. According to the majority, they’re more inclined to support brands that throw them a bone with a student discount.

Offering up a freebie or a trial discount is like dangling a carrot in front of them, giving them a solid reason to pick you over the competition, even if it’s just for a hot minute. And if you wow them with a top-notch experience, you’ll have them hooked for the long haul—even after the promo dust settles and they’re back to shelling out full price.

In conclusion, we all know that students chasing higher education have standards as high as their towering stacks of textbooks. And with all those essays under their belts, they’ve practically got a Ph.D. in communication!   So, why not give these brainiacs a taste of your brand with clever campaigns from people they trust? STUDENT ATHLETES!