Yahoo Sports announces that it has signed Chet Holmgren of Gonzaga and Paolo Banchero of Duke for name, image and likeness agreements to support its Yahoo Sports Tourney Pick’em bracket game. These are the first NIL offers for the promotion of bracketed games.
Both Holmgren and Banchero are expected to be first picks in the upcoming NBA draft and will serve as co-ambassadors for activation, including amplifying social and digital content on their personal social channels, Yahoo Sports digital channels, marketing assets and more. The offers will run throughout the month of March.
“I’ve always loved tournaments because they bring me some of the most exciting times in sport,” Holmgren said. “I’m really looking forward to teaming up with Yahoo Sports and showing how fans can get in on the action through Yahoo Sports Tourney Pick’em.”
Banchero says that suited him as well.
“It’s a great opportunity to connect with the fans and experience the hype, drama and adrenaline of college basketball in March. Growing up, I filled my bracket on Yahoo and it’s incredibly exciting to have the opportunity to team up with them and help encourage fans to sign up now so they can be part of the excitement,” Banchero said.
Joanna Lambert, president and general manager of Consumer at Yahoo, says her team worked on these agreements long before the tournament to allow athletes to focus on their game once the games started.
“Given the nature of the offerings we have designed, Chet and Paolo will remain focused on their game on the pitch. We are working with them well before the tournament starts to develop the content to activate so they can stay focused play during the tournament. We plan to release the content with a strategic cadence across their digital and social channels starting with the pre-tournament, focusing on the selection on Sunday, then generating additional engagement shortly before the first round .
Yahoo Sports also had to navigate the current patchwork of NIL laws and rules to ensure it structures deals in a way that meets all applicable standards.
“As this is a first-of-its-kind agreement in support of bracket games, Yahoo Sports and our partner agency Troika have developed the agreements in close collaboration with players and their management teams to ensure that we closely align and adhere to specific game-related parameters to ensure a seamless process and relationship.
“The agreements were developed with the concept that Chet Holmgren and Paolo Banchero would serve as co-ambassadors for the Yahoo Sports Tourney Pick’em which is free to fans. As student-athletes, Paolo and Chet will focus solely on the support and amplification of digital and social content and will not personally create support.
Lambert says Yahoo Sports will measure the success of this campaign through a few different lenses.
“We love creating new experiences for our fans, so bringing them closer to two athletes they love is already a win for us. We will also be looking at social and digital engagement and sentiment, traffic and registrations for Tourney Pick’ em with the Yahoo Sports community as key measures of success.
Yahoo Sports worked with creative and strategic partner Troika, a sports and entertainment consulting and creative firm, to develop and execute this NIL deal.