Student Athletes To Host Second-Screen Experience During NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament

Last Updated on March 21, 2022

New name, image and likeness legislation passed last summer has paved the way for a number of interesting activations this school year. The latest is the launch of Campus Cast Live, a student-athlete hosted second-screen experience that will air simultaneously with the Michigan State men’s basketball team’s tournament games.

Spartan football athletes Payton Thorne and Jayden Reed will host Campus Cast Live: East Lansing Edition. The current college teammates are longtime friends, having played together on the same high school team as well.

Campus Cast Live represents the very best of what NIL can and should be,” said president of Playfly Sports Properties, Christy Hedgpeth. “Not only will student athletes be compensated for their efforts, but more importantly, they will also receive valuable broadcasting experience and career development opportunities. At the same time, this new platform represents highly compelling content with which Playfly can engage college sports fans and deliver value to our brand partners. We are setting the pace for how MMR firms can drive strategic outcomes for school partners through NIL.”

Campus Cast Live will be broadcast via Facebook Live during each of Michigan State’s tournament games on the Spartan Media Network Page.

In addition to being an opportunity for the athletes to gain broadcasting skills, the live broadcast has also been of interest to advertisers. Seven sponsor integrations have already been confirmed, including activations from Buick, McDonalds, and multiple East Lansing-area businesses. The social cast will be hosted by Graduate Hotel, a hotel chain centered around college towns with a location in East Lansing.

The Campus Cast Live concept was developed by Kris Kassel, Playfly Group vice president and general manager of Michigan State Sports Properties. 

“We are fortunate to have great partners within Spartan Athletics who quickly got behind the idea as way to amplify the men’s basketball tournament run,” said Kassel. “And in Payton and Jayden, we have two life-long friends and teammates whose personalities fit well for this broadcast. Our goal is to then rollout out Campus Cast Live to our Playfly schools nationwide.”

Playfly has plans to roll out the concept in multiple markets in the fall for college football season. Future hosts will include male and female athletes from a variety of sports.

Update: below is a highlight reel from the first broadcast.

This piece originally appeared on Forbes


  • Kristi Dosh

    Kristi A. Dosh is the founder of and has served as a sports business analyst and contributor for outlets such as Forbes, ESPN, SportsBusiness Journal, Bleacher Report, SB Nation and more. She is also the author of a book on the business of college football, Saturday Millionaires. Kristi is a sought-after consultant and speaker on topics related to the business of college sports and a former practicing attorney. Click to learn more

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