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PAC-12 Paid LA Times, Players’ Tribune For Positive Coverage

“Andrew Walker, the conference’s Vice President of Communications, told the paper that reporter Blake Richardson would have access to the SIDs at all 12 PAC-12 schools and they would pitch her stories.”

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The PAC-12 hired a PR firm in 2018 to help spread some good news about the conference. That isn’t a strange thing for any organization to do, but this PR firm may have gone a step too far, offering payment to multiple publications to write glowing things about the league.

John Canzano of The Oregonian reports that the PR firm suggested the conference approach both The Los Angeles Times and The Players’ Tribune about a deal to pay for content. Canzano writes that a PAC-12 staff member told him “Literally, in a meeting, our communications people were like, ‘Is there anyone we can pay to write positive stories?'”.

He cites evidence that a deal was made with the Los Angeles Times. The conference would pay the paper $100,000 for advertising in exchange for expanded coverage. Andrew Walker, the conference’s Vice President of Communications, told the paper that reporter Blake Richardson would have access to the SIDs at all 12 PAC-12 schools and they would pitch her stories.

The agreement was intended to run for six months. It was cut short by two months when Los Angeles Times staffers found out about the deal and voiced their objections. The paper’s executive editor Norman Pearlstine objects to the idea that the paper violated journalistic ethics, saying that “the contract we drafted and that was subsequently signed by the Pac-12 has no mention of coverage or content production.”

Canzano reports that the conference also came to terms with The Players’ Tribune. That deal resulted in columns for the site that were supposedly written by PAC-12 athletes actually being written by the PR firm. “Part of the conversation with the student-athletes that we worked with was — at their request — that we not publicize the assistance,” Walker told Canzano.

The PAC-12 is a conference that cannot get out of its own way. This is more bad news for a conference that has been fighting perceptions of ineptitude ever since the roll out of the PAC-12 Networks was exceedingly rocky.

Sports Online

Amazon’s Thursday Night Football Ratings Up In Week 4

That figure represents growth from last week’s Steeler-Browns game which averaged 11.03 million viewers.

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Bengals-Dolphins
Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

Amazon Prime Video is the first to tout its NFL success in Week 4 of the season. The week’s first game, the Thursday Night Football matchup between the Miami-Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals, averaged 11.7 million viewers.

That figure represents growth from last week’s Steeler-Browns game which averaged 11.03 million viewers. That number also represents a massive increase over last year’s Week 3 game from last year (Jaguars-Bengals) which averaged 8 million viewers. That game aired on the NFL Network.

Amazon also noted that the streaming service gathered 13.4 million viewers across all platforms for the Thursday night game.

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Sports Online

Julian Edelman Considers Himself A Pioneer

“I’ve been a football player since I was 8 years old, but I did have other interests. Now that I am done, I get to explore that.”

Ricky Keeler

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Since his playing days with the New England Patriots ended after the 2020 season, Julian Edelman has kept himself busy with his role on Inside the NFL and now co-hosting the Games with Names podcast with comedian Sam Morril. So, what was Edelman looking for with his post-football endeavors?

Edelman was a guest on the most-recent episode of the Half-Forgotten History podcast with Trey Wingo and he said that the vibe that Inside The NFL has with Phil Simms, James Brown, Brandon Marshall, Michael Irvin, and Ray Lewis was something that he was looking for.

“With Inside the NFL, I have those guys and there’s a camaraderie. We get to have that breaking bread and just locker room kind of vibe. On the podcast, it’s the same thing.”

The MVP of Super Bowl XLIII mentioned that the key to doing the things he does now in his post-career came from the way him and his team were able to use social media to build his own brand and help ease the transition from a playing career to a member of the media.

“When I retired, I was fortunate enough to put a good team around me for all of my off-the-field things. We built a brand through social media. Kind of pioneers of this whole thing with social and e-commerce and millennial/Gen-Z things. It helped me land a role on Inside the NFL and go and have an ability to start a podcast, Games With Names. It’s been good and it honestly helps with the transition.”

Now that Edelman’s playing days are in the past, he said that he now has the opportunity to do things that he was always interested in since he was a kid, but did not have the time for and he is grateful for the opportunities that the NFL has allowed him to have.

“I’ve been a football player since I was 8 years old, but I did have other interests. Now that I am done, I get to explore that. I am so grateful for football and for the game just because it has given me the opportunity to do things that are fun and amazing.”

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Sports Online

LaVar Arrington, ‘Up On Game Presents’ Forges Multiplatform Deal With John Brenkus, Brinx.TV

The two entities have created a show called The NIL House, which will feature Brenkus and Rob Vaka discussing the latest news, biggest stories, athletes, collectives, and celebrities in the Name, Image, and Likeness space.

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Fox Sports Radio morning co-host LaVar Arrington has announced a multi-platform deal with creator and host of Sport Science John Brenkus and Brinx.TV.

The two entities have created a show called The NIL House, which will feature Brenkus and Rob Vaka discussing the latest news, biggest stories, athletes, collectives, and celebrities in the Name, Image, and Likeness space.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with a pioneer like John Brenkus and Brinx.TV,” said Arrington. “This relationship will dramatically expedite our slate of programming and positively impact the sports entertainment industry.”

“LaVar Arrington has dominated the world of sports on and off the field,” adds Brenkus. “By combining Up On Game and Brinx.TV’s distribution platforms, there really is no limit to our success.”

Up On Game Presents is the podcast platform Arrington curates, in conjunction with Fox Sports Radio. The Up On Game podcast features Arrington and former NFL Pro Bowl wide receivers T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Plaxico Burress.

Brinx.TV was created in February of 2021 and allows subscribers the ability to watch live programming while also make purchases, bid in auctions, buy NFTs, and answer trivia questions.

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