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Learfield Launches Business To Include Team Branding In NIL Deals

“The company has added a litany of its partners to the program including, Duke University, Florida State University, and the University of Florida.”

Russ Heltman

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Learfield announced a new program to make it easier for student-athletes to associate school logos with NIL deals. Learfield Allied is aimed at bringing NIL deals and university intellectual property together.

The company has added a litany of its partners to the program including, Duke University, Florida State University, University of Florida, University of Kansas, University of Louisville, St. John’s University, Syracuse University, University of Utah, and the University of Wisconsin.

“From the very first stages of NIL, our job has been simple – to listen, learn, and help schools, brand partners, and student-athletes maximize opportunities,” Learfield president and CEO Cole Gahagan said in a press release. “By building a nationwide, consistent framework, we’re ensuring that the invaluable IP of our school partners remains under the highest level of commercial safeguard, while at the same time, significantly widening the opportunities for student-athletes, universities, and corporate brands alike. Learfield Allied is truly a solution that benefits all stakeholders in NIL.”

The entire program is aimed to be a national solution towards combatting the blockades in current NIL deals. The Supreme Court allowed the practice to start this past July. In many cases, athletes have been unable to associate their NIL deals with their school’s mascots and logos at places like the University of Wisconsin.

“Learfield Allied is a win for all parties involved, and I am especially happy that this will expand NIL opportunities for our student-athletes,” said Wisconsin athletic director Chris McIntosh. “Our athletic department is deeply committed to helping our student-athletes and corporate partners maximize opportunities in this space. This new initiative will greatly help and I am pleased to have Wisconsin Athletics at the forefront.”

Learfield Allied is the next step in the company’s NIL game plan. They also launched Compass this year, which helps educate student-athletes on the ins and outs of NIL deals.

“As a leader in intercollegiate athletics, we have a responsibility to listen to the market and lead with solutions. Our brand partners are interested in utilizing student-athletes in their marketing campaigns but there hasn’t been a secure and turnkey way to facilitate those opportunities using school IP, until now,” said Learfield CRO John Brody. “The unveiling of Learfield Allied is a gamechanger for those brands who are leaning in on student-athlete NIL, and we are proud to be at the center of the industry’s evolution and development.”

Sports Online

Michael Kay: Vin Scully Was ‘A Gift From The Gods’

“No one can come close to his talent and his ability to communicate so easily with his audience.”

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As sports media figures continue to mourn the passing of Vin Scully, Yankees television play-by-play announcer Michael Kay penned a special op-ed to Scully in The New York Post.

Kay noted the sheer length of Scully’s career — pointing out he announced games for Jackie Robinson and Gil Hodges just as he did for Clayton Kershaw — and how his style “transcended generations”.

“If you listen to how some called a game in the 50s, you can question if they would even be hired by today’s execs or, more importantly, accepted by today’s audience,” Kay said. “Scully was just as good and relevant in 2016 as he was in 1950. There is an incredible genius to that accomplishment.”

The two baseball broadcasters both graduated from Fordham University, which Kay said bonded them after they were introduced to one another in 1999 by Scully’s friend Keith Olbermann.

Kay also echoed a sentiment shared by many the day following Scully’s passing: that he was the greatest sports broadcaster of all time.

“In an era of hot takes where debate shows argue about the greatest this and the greatest that, there is no debate that Scully is simply the greatest sports broadcaster who ever lived,” Kay definitively said. “No one can come close to his talent and his ability to communicate so easily with his audience.”

He later added Scully’s ability “was a gift from the Gods. A lovely, soft, easy voice and a disarming manner that made him sound like a friend and not an authority figure giving you the score.”

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NFL Network’s Kyle Brandt Will Host Podcast With Omaha Productions

Among other duties, Brandt will be hosting a podcast distributed by ESPN called Kyle Brandt’s Basement.

Jordan Bondurant

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You’ll soon be able to hear NFL Network’s Kyle Brandt on your favorite podcast platform.

Brandt, who co-hosts Good Morning Football, signed on with Peyton Manning’s Omaha Productions according to Adam Schefter.

Among other duties, Brandt will be hosting a podcast distributed by ESPN called Kyle Brandt’s Basement.

“I’m thrilled about this show, and I’ll be shot out of a cannon every single day,” said Brandt. “It’s in my own basement and I’ve got games, toys and takes. I can promise one thing: it will not be boring.”

Caesars Sportsbook will be supply all betting lines for Brandt’s show. Caesars will also present Brandt’s weekly gambling segment Caesars Picks: This Time It’s Personal where Brandt will risk his own personal items around his basement when picking games based on Caesars Sportsbook spreads.

Brandt’s show joins a lineup of six other podcasts originally announced back in June.

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DirecTV Strikes Deal with Amazon to Carry Thursday Night Football in Bars and Restaurants

. Owners were being faced with the choice of having to upgrade their video systems to handle streaming video. Some are not currently equipped to do so.

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DirecTV Amazon

This season, Thursday Night Football moves over to Amazon’s streaming service for the first time. That might be good for consumers at home, but that left a drastic issue still with bars and restaurants carrying the games.

John Ourand of Sports Business Journal reports that Amazon has agreed to allow DirecTV co carry its games to bars and restaurants. Owners were being faced with the choice of having to upgrade their video systems to handle streaming video. Some are not currently equipped to do so. Some establishments that have upgraded their equipment recently have run into issues syncing the video to go to different televisions from the stream.

DirecTV is also entering its last season with NFL Sunday Ticket.

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