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NBC Sports Launches NIL Marketplace for College Athletes

Paul Steinbach
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NBC Sports has launched "NBC Sports Athlete Direct," a platform linking college student-athletes and advertisers through a trusted marketplace, enabling student-athletes to monetize their name, image and likeness.

According to the network's Tuesday press release, NBC Sports Athlete Direct will be available to student-athletes at Notre Dame, Vanderbilt University and Temple University. Student-athletes at each university who opt in to NBC Sports Athlete Direct will be presented with NIL opportunities from advertisers, including the potential monetization of their social media followings.

NBC Sports will also collaborate with the universities to create content for student-athletes focused on NIL best practices. In addition, NBC Sports will collaborate with CNBC, the world leader in business and financial news, to provide personal finance resources.

“We’re excited to launch NBC Sports Athlete Direct, which will add significant value to the NIL ecosystem by connecting student-athletes and advertises through a trusted marketplace that will have real scale,” said Damon Phillips, senior vice president for Strategic Initiatives at NBC Sports. “We look forward to growing NBC Sports Athlete Direct by working with additional institutions moving forward.”

The one-of-a-kind partnership between NBC Sports and Notre Dame has been at the forefront of media since the early 1990s, according to the network. While being the exclusive broadcast partner of Notre Dame football has been at the heart of the partnership, the two institutions have put innovation atop their goals in as the relationship has grown.

“Our student-athletes are at the heart of every decision we make at Notre Dame and the chance to partner with NBC Sports to provide them another opportunity in the NIL space is exciting,” said Notre Dame associate athletics director Claire VeNard, the leader of the university’s GLD Center, which is committed to empowering student-athletes to maximize their impact. “Being first movers in any category is a powerful statement to our student-athletes and the chance to work with one of the leaders in the media space is one we couldn’t pass up.”

“Temple is committed to supporting our student-athletes when it comes to Name, Image and Likeness, and ensuring that our student-athletes have access to exceptional resources and education as they look to explore their personal brand development,” said Owls athletic director Arthur Johnson, according to the NBC release. “We are excited to showcase Temple’s faculty as thought-leaders and have Temple student-athletes among the first cohort to have access to NBC Sports Athlete Direct.”

Said Candice Storey Lee, Vanderbilt’s vice chancellor for Athletics and University Affairs and the university's athletic director, "As the collegiate athletics landscape continues to change, Vanderbilt’s vision is for student-athletes to maximize their potential in all areas — including with name, image, and likeness. We are proud to have our world-class faculty collaborate with NBC Sports to contribute content and best practices to student-athletes through NBC Sports Athlete Direct.”

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