Earlier this morning, there were reports of an announcement that the Big 12 and the world’s most preeminent wrestling company have partnered up. Chris Vannini of The Athletic reported on the move between the two parties
According to reports, the WWE will have a merged logo on the field for the conference championship game. A championship belt for the MVP, merch, and talents on hand. Nelly will perform at the halftime show in Arlington at AT&T Stadium, colloquially known as Jerry World.
The WWE has partnered with numerous athletes and leagues in the past, giving out title belts and the like. They entered the NIL space with their “Next In LineTM” initiative to recruit collegiate athletes into their company. Their ties to the football world are legendary as WWE Hall of Famers like Ron Simmons, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Goldberg, and Joe Anoa’i aka Roman Reigns all played in the sport collegiately.
Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark had this to say about the partnership:
“WWE is a global brand that connects with a wide array of audiences,” Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark said in a statement. “With this partnership, we will integrate WWE and its brand power into one of the conference’s biggest moments, further strengthening the bridge between sports and entertainment throughout the Big 12.Adam Rittenberg on ESPN
WWE President Nick Khan on the partnership with the Big 12:
“Brett and his team at the Big 12 have turbocharged the conference through innovative media rights deals and commercial partnerships, constantly exploring new ways to grow the conference’s reach and influence,” said WWE President Nick Khan. “We’re excited to partner with them and help amplify the Big 12 Championship.”Nick Khan via WWE Press Release
The Big 12 joins the SEC in partnering with the wrestling organization.
It can be said that Yormark’s conference set off the latest round of realignment frenzy by poaching the Pac-12 corner four schools. The move led the Big Ten to effectively finish off the Pac-12 as an entity by adding Oregon and Washington.
Who’s in the Big 12 title race?
The University of Texas is the leader in the clubhouse with a 6-1 conference record. Joining the Longhorns in the Metroplex is a convoluted four-way tie between OU, OSU, KSU, and Iowa State. There are also three teams within striking range at 4-3 (WVU, Texas Tech, and Kansas). Iowa State and Kansas State play each other so that settled that end of the bargain. Oklahoma State holds the head-to-head tiebreaker over Oklahoma.