Georgia Tech and TiVo pair up for the largest NIL deal to date
Georgia Tech head coach Geoff Collins touted the unique opportunities for name, image, and likeness for his student-athletes when the new rules went into place in July. The Jackets did make history with the largest NIL deal in terms of players covered to date in college sports.
Over 90 players including walk-ons received $404 pre-paid debit cards, a TiVo Stream 4K (valued at $29.99), a TiVo-branded football using Tech’s football manufacturer and some got branded silk pajamas as well. TiVo also made a separate investment in the Jackets media room upgrading technology and accommodations. The deal totaled out over $100k in investments in the Tech program by TiVo. TiVo also expanded their interest in Tech athletics into a sponsorship deal including branding in Bobby Dodd Stadium.
“I think the great thing about the TiVo deals, that's a good example of something that's maybe nontraditional something that we would have never dealt with for my previous years on previous 10 years here,” Simit Shah assistant AD for Special Projects told JOL. “We had an alum who worked on our football video staff and now works for an agency that works with TiVo and they had a conversation with TiVo about getting involved in the NIL space and he told them he would talk to Tech and see what was possible. We had different conversations.”
Yellow Jackets corner Tre Swilling said getting everyone on the team the opportunity to make a deal with TiVo was special especially because the deal covered walk-ons along with the scholarship athletes.
“Even us getting a deal like Tivo, everyone got that opportunity even the walk-ons to put more money in their pockets. For us living in Atlanta, those things are underappreciated because we get the same money as everyone else in the country, but the living costs in Atlanta are higher than in other places so I think so that allowed us to shift it a little bit. It allows us to still be a college kid and play football also have a little fun,” Swilling said.
The unique aspect of NIL on the school side for someone like Shah is the inability to make an approach for a deal. Instead, Tech has to field interest from various outlets who want to get involved, and then they are able to help guide the relationship by advising the rules. In the case of the TiVo deal, it evolved into a sponsorship of Georgia Tech athletics after the initial NIL deal for players as two separate transactions.
“We can field anything incoming, but we can’t go out there and solicit anything so they came to us and we worked on the facilitation part, and then it went from a conversation strictly about NIL to what they can do for Georgia Tech. We had to keep some of it at arm’s length but we told them they can have a shoot and rent our facility and then they told us they’d love to have a relationship with Georgia Tech and they donated the things they brought in for the shoot to us and they were able to use our facilities so that part was great for Georgia Tech,” Shah said. “They did a separate deal as a sponsorship through our Legends Group that allowed them to use our logos and marks so the student-athletes could wear something with Georgia Tech on it.”
TiVo had signage in the stadium for the Kennesaw State game and will continue to have a relationship with the Yellow Jacket program in addition to the NIL relationship with 100 or so football players. This was a lot different than most NIL deals at other programs over the last three months.
“I think that this deal, in particular, was unique because it involved the NIL piece, it involved a piece where TiVo came in and said we want to donate things to Georgia Tech and develop a relationship and it also involves a sponsorship piece. So to our knowledge, it is very unique, but again a great opportunity for someone coming to us through an alum,” Shah said.
For TiVo, the company is now involved in college athletics and has some branding opportunities for the first time in the college space as they try to build up business for their streaming product.
“One of the unique things about the TiVo deal is here is somebody that was not really doing much in the college space, certainly not doing anything with Georgia Tech so for someone to come to the table and say, ‘hey we really want to do something with our student-athletes and with your entire team and by the way we are having a really positive experience with Georgia Tech facilitating this and the guys are being really informative.’ So that opened the door for other things to happen and maybe that is some of the unique opportunities that we have seen and will continue to see,” Shah said.
At the end of the day the players want to win though and defensive end Jordan Domineck put all of this in perspective as to what the focus has to be for players.
“My main thing as much as I love the NIL process is school, that comes first. Football comes second and then NIL comes third. So as much as I can build my personal brand and everything, I’m more focused on my academics and having my team shine in the best light,” Domineck said.