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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

Jeff Passan Now Breaking News On Instagram After Noting Twitter Instability

Passan said “I have no idea if Twitter is going to be around today, tomorrow, next week, next year” and said he wanted fans to have a “break-glass-in-case-of-emergency-plan”.

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ESPN MLB reporter Jeff Passan has begun pushing some of his breaking news stories on his Instagram in addition to his Twitter account after noting the social media platform’s instability.

In a tweet on Saturday, November 12th, Passan shared that the Houston Astros and reliever Rafael Montero had agreed to a new contract, with details on his Instagram page. In a follow up message, Passan said “I have no idea if Twitter is going to be around today, tomorrow, next week, next year” and said he wanted fans to have a “break-glass-in-case-of-emergency-plan”, should the worst happen on Twitter.

Many accused Passan of grandstanding, and “virtue signaling” for “boycotting” a platform now owned by Elon Musk. There have been unsubstantiated reports of Twitter’s volatility under Musk’s ownership.

Last week, though, Passan continued posting breaking news to his Instagram account.

Passan appears to be the first ESPN news breaker to make a shift, however slight, to an alternate platform from Twitter.

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Sports Online

Bill Simmons: Bob Iger Return Comes After Being Rebuffed As Potential Suns Owner

“Maybe I’m reporting this — Robert Sarver, the Suns owner, said flat-out ‘I’m not selling to Iger or a group that includes Iger’.”

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Bob Iger made his return to Disney as the company’s CEO in a shocking announcement Sunday night. The Ringer’s Bill Simmons believes it’s not a coincidence Iger has returned to replace Bob Chapek after being told he wouldn’t be part of a new ownership group of the Phoenix Suns.

“I think one of the things that’s been interesting about him the last couple of years is we always heard his name floated around for different things…Would he be involved with the Phoenix Suns? That seemed to be the latest thing,” Simmons said on The Bill Simmons Podcast. “‘Oh, Iger’s got a group.’ I know — and maybe I’m reporting this — Robert Sarver, the Suns owner, said flat-out ‘I’m not selling to Iger or a group that includes Iger’ because he blamed Disney for the ESPN story that took down Sarver and led to him selling the team.

“I think once Iger realized he didn’t have a chance with the Suns, maybe that heated up the Disney thing.”

Simmons equated the return of Iger to that of an NFL quarterback he’s quite familiar with.

“There’s some Tom Brady elements to this,” Simmons said. “He leaves his dream job. Didn’t want to stay too long. He’s very wary of anyone who loves the Disney history and has read all the books. He was the guy Michael Eisner just refused to turn Disney over to for years and years, and Iger was very worried about not being that guy and stay too long, but he also wanted new challenges.”

Simmons began his podcast by calling the news one of the more seismic he’s seen.

“One of the biggest Hollywood stories of the past — I would say — eight to ten years happened tonight,” Bill Simmons said. “Bob Iger, who retired from Disney triumphantly, wrote a book, rode off into the sunset, named this handpicked successor — Bob Chapek — and a couple of years later reveals he’s returning as the CEO of Disney.”

Iger was the CEO at Disney from 2005-2020. Simmons worked at Disney-owned ESPN from 2001-2015.

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Sports Online

Barstool Sports Star Big Cat Launches Coffee Business

Barstool conducted a recent fan survey, and 80% of respondents said they drink coffee on a daily basis. Katz and the folks at Barstool listened, and so Stella Blue was born.

Jordan Bondurant

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A new direct-to-consumer product from the minds at Barstool Sports has hit store shelves – coffee. Stella Blue Coffee is a new brand launched by Pardon My Take co-host and Barstool Sports star Dan “Big Cat” Katz.

The name was inspired by Big Cat’s love of coffee and his love for his recue dog Stella.

Barstool conducted a recent fan survey, and 80% of respondents said they drink coffee on a daily basis. Katz and the folks at Barstool listened, and so Stella Blue was born.

The coffee will feature three different blends. Positive Vibes is the light roast, Big Cat Blend is the medium roast and Electric Avenue Dark Roast. The coffee is available in 12-ounce whole bean bags, 12-ounce ground bags and pods for Keurig lovers.

A portion of the proceeds from sales of the coffee will go to PAWS Chicago, the largest no-kill humane organization in Dan’s hometown.

Stella Blue is the latest Barstool-backed and created DTC product to hit store shelves. The company has a record of previous success launching other products including flavored vodka, beer and hard seltzers.

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