TiVo’s first venture into creating name, image and likeness deals with college athletes has landed at Georgia Tech, replete with products, a cash payment and silk pajamas. The technology brand has signed deals with 90 Yellow Jackets football players, many of whom began promoting TiVo on social media Wednesday.
“I think it’s amazing that they chose us as an organization,” wide receiver Malachi Carter told the AJC.
TiVo offered an endorsement deal to every member of the team. The 90 who accepted the offer cross the range from starters to walk-ons. The players received a $404 prepaid debit card and a TiVo Stream 4K (valued at $29.99), which is a streaming device similar to Roku or Apple TV. Other goodies included TiVo-branded footballs and branded silk pajamas.
In being offered to the entire team, TiVo’s deal is among the broader NIL ventures that any company has taken on with a single team since the NCAA opened the doors for college athletes to be compensated for their name, image and likeness (NIL) on July 1.
“Our end goal is to have the players be using our technology and enjoying it and evangelizing accordingly,” said Matt Milne, chief revenue officer for Xperi, TiVo’s holding company.
Tech players are to make two social-media posts in exchange for the payment and product.
“If they wanted to post more, that’d be fine, too,” Milne said.
Wide receiver Kyric McGowan, defensive end Jordan Domineck, tight end Dylan Deveney and linebacker Charlie Thomas were among many players who took to Twitter on Wednesday to proclaim their fidelity to, and affinity for, TiVo.
“Shoutout to @TiVo for the chance to watch (football emoji) and all my favorite anime on HBO with their streaming device!!” Domineck wrote in a Twitter post.
TiVo was connected with Tech through an alumnus who worked in the football team’s video department as a student and now works at an agency that represents TiVo. He connected TiVo with assistant athletic director Simit Shah, who explained the NIL parameters to company officials and helped secure a corporate sponsorship through Legends (Tech’s multimedia rights holder), making TiVo the rare entity to have deals both with a school’s athletes and the athletic department.
TiVo has made a financial commitment to the athletic department and also contributed an in-kind gift of technology and furniture for the team’s video lounge. TiVo’s total outlay to team members and the department exceeds $100,000, Milne said. Fans watching Tech’s season opener Saturday may see TiVo’s logo on LED signage in Bobby Dodd Stadium, part of the agreement.
The company came to Tech’s football facility to sign players Aug. 27 and show off its product. The pajamas were such a big hit that at least one player wore his around campus.
“The pajamas are smooth,” Carter said.
“That’s what made me feel good, is the kids genuinely enjoyed it and got something out of it,” Shah said.
While Tech is TiVo’s first NIL deal, Milne said the brand will evaluate other options.
“It’s something unique that we wanted to get involved in, and really satisfied with how it turned out, frankly,” Milne said.
The same might be said of 90 TiVo-endorsing Yellow Jackets.
“It was really cool to see that they genuinely wanted us as a team to do this deal and represent them the right way,” Carter said. “I thought that was cool.”