Gonzaga freshman Chet Holmgren reaches NIL deal with Yahoo Sports' bracket contest

Mar. 3—Gonzaga freshman Chet Holmgren has added another name, image and likeness (NIL) deal, this one breaking new ground with Yahoo Sports' NCAA tournament bracket contest.

Holmgren and Duke freshman standout Paolo Banchero will be co-ambassadors helping promote Yahoo Sports' Tourney Pick'em best bracket contest. These are believed to be the first NIL deals promoting bracket gaming, Forbes.com reported. The deals run through March.

Holmgren and Banchero will be involved in social and digital content application utilizing their personal social channels, Yahoo Sports digital channels, marketing assets and more.

Scroll to continue with content

"I've always loved tournament time because it brings some of the most exciting moments in sports," 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."

Joanna Lambert, President & GM of Consumer at Yahoo, told Forbes the deals were worked out well in advance of March Madness.

"We are collaborating with them well before the start of the tournament to develop the content to activate so they can remain focused on the games during the tournament," Lambert said. "We plan to release the content with a strategic cadence across their digital and social channels starting with pre-tournament, focusing on Selection Sunday and then generating additional engagement shortly ahead of the opening round tip off."

The players will not personally create a bracket in Yahoo's contest, Lambert said.


Holmgren's and Banchero's careers have been connected in many ways with both being at or near the top of the 2021 recruiting class. Holmgren was No. 1 and Banchero, a Seattle native, at No. 2 in 247sports' composite rankings.

The two squared off in Duke's 84-81 victory over Gonzaga in November in Las Vegas. Holmgren finished with 16 points, seven rebounds and three blocks. Banchero scored 20 points in the first half and finished with 21 after battling cramps in the second half.

Holmgren and Banchero are expected to be top picks in the NBA draft in June. Both are in the discussion for the top overall pick and they're usually in the top 3-4 in most mock drafts.

Holmgren announced a NIL agreement with Topps Trading Cards in January.