Sunday December 3, 2023

NBC Sports Signs Notre Dame Running Back To NIL Deal

  • The network created a service for fans to buy subscriptions for access to exclusive athlete content.
  • Notre Dame running back Chris Tyree will be the first athlete to participate.
Michael Caterina / USA TODAY NETWORK
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In April, NBC Sports announced its foray into the name, image, and likeness space with a marketplace for athletes at Temple, Notre Dame, and Vanderbilt.

Now, the program, called NBC Athlete Direct, is expanding into the fan-powered NIL sector — with the help of Notre Dame running back Chris Tyree.

  • Fans can now purchase subscriptions through NBC for access to exclusive athlete content — including virtual meet-ups, autographed photos, and podcast episodes. 
  • They’ll also get a few non-athlete specific perks: movie tickets from Fandango and six months of access to Peacock.
  • Tyree will be the program’s first athlete, but it plans to add other players by the end of the quarter.

Tyree is a logical choice to launch the program, given that Notre Dame already has a media deal with NBC Sports — so the school, network, and Tyree could collaborate on content and intellectual property. 

One example of that collaboration: the deal itself will be promoted within the broadcast for Saturday’s game between the Fighting Irish and Stanford.

The fan-powered NIL space could be a billion-dollar industry, experts previously told Front Office Sports — but so far, existing companies have struggled to capture the attention of enough fans to grow at a major scale. Perhaps the network’s existing reach could help it bridge that gap.

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