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NBCUniversal’s Streaming Platform Peacock Initiates The First NIL Live Sporting Event

The Peacock Classic is unique because it presents the opportunity for the participating players to establish NIL partnerships with the event’s sponsors.

The Baylor Bears and Gonzaga Bulldogs face off in a 2019 March Madness game. (Photo by Boyd Ivey/Icon Sportswire)

Last Updated on November 25, 2022 by John Riker

The Peacock Classic 

On Dec. 2 at 8 p.m. EST, NBCUniversal’s Peacock will exclusively stream the “Peacock Classic,” a rematch of the 2021 NCAA Men’s National Championship between Baylor and Gonzaga.

The Peacock classic will be aired live from the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. In collaboration with Complete Sports Management and Range Media Partners, Sanford Sports are partnering with NBCUniversal to present this inaugural event.

This national championship grudge match is unique because it presents the opportunity for the participating players on both teams to establish name, image and likeness partnerships with the event’s sponsors through NBC Sports Athlete Direct. The announcement was made by Complete Sports Management’s Lea Miller and Range Sports President Will Funk. 

“Our goal is to create the most visible platform for student-athletes and provide them the best opportunities to showcase their skills and build their brands,” Funk said. “With this event, we want to play a key role in the evolution of collegiate athletics by ensuring that the student-athletes, are given opportunities to monetize their name, image and likeness.”

The Deal Within The Deal

NBC Sports Athlete Direct is an NIL community that serves as a connector between college athletes, advertisers and fans. This game will represent the first time college athletes can activate partnerships with sponsors in the game they are playing in and get compensated equally. Additionally, the players who opt in to this NBC Sports Athlete Direct Campaign will promote the sponsors via social media. 

“Presenting and sponsoring the first-ever ‘Peacock Classic’ is a historic moment for Peacock, providing fans with a must-see matchup featuring two of college basketball’s premier programs,” said Rick Cordella, President, Programming, NBC Sports, Peacock Sports. “In conjunction with NBC Sports Athlete Direct, we’re excited to offer an innovative NIL opportunity that benefits Gonzaga and Baylor student-athletes.”

Unsung Heros 

Sanford Sports and Complete Sports Management are acknowledged as the event organizers, while Range Media Partners will handle TV distribution and commercial partnerships. Both parties underscored the impact of this game and the significance it will have in college sports. 

“For the past several years, the Sanford Pentagon has become a destination for division I teams,” said Jesse Smith, vice president of Sanford Sports. “We are thrilled to have Baylor and Gonzaga tip-off on our court. Tickets for this game sold out in the first five minutes they were available to the public, so I guarantee the fanbase will be loud and it will just all around be great basketball played in a memorable atmosphere.”

“Complete Sports Management is proud to partner with Sanford Sports, Range Media and NBCUniversal’s Peacock on this exciting new endeavor,” said Lea Miller-Tooley, President of CSM. “This is unique in the college basketball space, and we are proud to be at the forefront of it.” 

Future Impact 

NBC Sports Athlete Direct is setting a standard for NIL and sports media.

When you factor in conference realignment and how media networks are vying for sports content, if there is no way for college athletes to interact with their event sponsors through NIL, it could make or break a partnership. The most valuable commodity is the live game, the activation point for nearly all NIL partnerships.

Further, with the extension of the college football playoffs looming, could we see the Peacock Classic duplicated? Does this now open the door for other streaming services to get involved in NIL?

About Range Sports

Range Sports, part of brand marketing, talent representation, and cultural capital firm Range Media Partners works synergistically across Range’s existing departments to produce live and on-demand original sports programming, manage and advise best-in-class sports talent, properties, and IP, and invest in the future of sports content and distribution.

In collaboration with Range Media Partners’ Unscripted and Scripted entertainment departments, Range Sports develops nonfiction projects, documentaries, and real-time series about the most compelling sports moments, stories, teams, and athletes. Range Sports also advises properties for media rights sales and corporate/brand partnerships and consults for brands about sports strategy and investment.

About Complete Sports Management

Complete Sports Management is an all-encompassing sports marketing agency whose core capabilities include creating sporting events, event management, sponsorship, hospitality packages, and ticket promotions. The global brand is responsible for creating top-tier sporting events such as the Battle 4 Atlantis Basketball Tournament and College Football’s first-ever International FBS Bowl Game, The Bahamas Bowl.

In addition to annual events such as the Battle 4 Atlantis and The Bahamas Bowl, Complete Sports Management runs some of the most prestigious Collegiate Basketball and Football Foreign Tours worldwide. While the company’s specialty is considered the Islands of the Bahamas, CSM can be seen in different countries on every continent annually.

About Peacock

In addition to the ‘Peacock Classic,’ Peacock’s expansive programming features live sports coverage, including Sunday Night Football, Premier League, MLB Sunday Leadoff, NASCAR, INDYCAR, Notre Dame Football, golf, Olympic sports, horse racing, and much more. Peacock also offers daily sports programming on the NBC Sports channel, which streams Peacock Original Brother from Another and staples like The Dan Patrick Show and Pro Football Talk Live. Click here to learn more and to sign up.

About Sanford Sports

Sanford Sports is the modern athletics arm of Sanford Health, the premier rural health system in the United States. Rooted in science and health care, Sanford Sports offers a combination of programs, services, events, facilities and partnerships intended to make active lifestyles accessible and rewarding for people of all ages and abilities.

Based on the 500-acre Sanford Sports Complex in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Sanford Sports has been changing the way athletes play for 25 years. With operations in four states, more than one million athletes use Sanford Sports facilities each year. Visit sanfordsports.com for more information.

Author

  • Darian Kelly

    Darian is an Interdisciplinary Studies Master's student at the University of North Texas. Darian is the host of The Jersey Podcast. He is highly passionate about sports content, technology, and innovation.

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