HBO Features BYU Football’s Unique NIL Deals On ‘Real Sports’

Oct 20, 2021, 11:16 PM | Updated: 11:21 pm
BYU Football - Built Bar - Nick Greer - Kalani Sitake...
Nick Greer, co-founder of Built Brands, left, and BYU football coach Kalani Sitake greet each other during a press conference at the BYU Student Athlete Building in Provo on Friday, Aug. 13, 2021, where they discussed Built Brands’ name, image and likeness agreement with BYU. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)
(Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – HBO isn’t looking at BYU football often. But the wave of name, image and likeness deals the Cougars have landed, especially the team-wide Built Bar deal, garnered the attention of the network’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.”

The NIL deal with Built Bar garnered national headlines when it was announced in August. As it was considered the first of its kind to have every football player practically on a scholarship.

Each one of BYU’s walk-ons suddenly had their tuition covered courtesy of the NIL deal from Built. In addition, scholarship players that signed up for the endorsement received money from Built.

BYU’s endorsement, along with Fresno State women’s basketball’s Cavinder twins, and Georgia football’s JT Daniels, caught the attention of HBO in a story they called “NIL Gold Rush.”

On July 1, the NCAA suspended its amateurism rules preventing student-athletes from cashing in on their name, image, and likeness. Ever since student-athletes from a wide range of sports are getting money like never before.

For BYU’s unique team-wide endorsement with the football program, they spot with Built Bar CEO Nick Greer.

Greer, a BYU alum and a member of the Advisory Board at the BYU Marriott School of Business, has put his brand front and center with the BYU football program. He even told the BYU football team, “Florida has Gatorade, Oregon has Nike, BYU has Built.”

HBO spotlights BYU football endorsement with Built Bar

“If you raise the game of the walk-on –of the walk-on– you’re going to raise the game of everyone else around them,” said Greer to HBO.

Before BYU’s first game against Arizona, the BYU football walk-ons that signed with Greer earned their first Built Bar checks and it totaled up to $12,000 to cover tuition. In addition, the scholarship athletes received $2,000 checks.

Built Bar decals appear on BYU football practice helmets. There is a Built Bar wall at the LaVell Edwards Stadium locker room, a fueling station at the Student Athlete Building, and sponsorships with BYU’s corporate sponsor team on radio and TV broadcasts through the school.

But Greer isn’t just stopping at BYU.

“We want to fuel every entire college athletic team in the United States right now,” Greer said on HBO’s Real Sports. “When they eat our bars, they eat our products; they eat everything that we create. They’re like, how would I go a day without it?”

In June, BYU announced Built4Life, a name, image, and likeness program for all BYU student-athletes to network with CEOs, enhance their brand, and make money off their NIL.

BYU athletes have signed individual deals along with other team-wide deals. Many of the athletes are represented by an agency called OhanaX. Players that OhanaX represents have inked deals with cryptocurrency companies. Some athletes have signed individual agreements ranging from chapstick companies to weekly radio hits.

To watch the full episode, it’s available on HBO and HBO Max.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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