The Houston Roundball Review is an online basketball publication
by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Katrina McClain, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.

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Coogs to Compete at Inaugural Players Era Festival in Las Vegas in November

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POSTED: June 13, 2024 -- 10:35 a.m. CT

The Houston Cougars Men’s Basketball program will meet Alabama during the first day of the Players Era Festival in Las Vegas during Thanksgiving week (November 26, 27, and 29).

Launched by EverWonder Studio, the Players Era Festival also includes Creighton, Notre Dame, Oregon, Rutgers, San Diego State and Texas A&M. It will be a week-long celebration of college basketball, featuring elite teams, student-athletes and coaches, and creative and groundbreaking NIL activities surrounding the games.

In its inaugural season, the tournament is aimed at captivating fans and provide student-athlete with opportunities to engage in unique name, image and likeness activities. Each participating team will engage in more than $1 million in NIL opportunities with Players Era sponsors outside of competition.

The full 2024 Festival games schedule and broadcast information will be announced later this summer. In addition to the Cougars and Crimson Tide, first-day matchups include Rutgers taking on Notre Dame, Creighton facing Oregon, and Texas A&M against San Diego State.

"This is an opportunity for us to play against some of the best teams in the country early in the season. The Players Era Festival has great teams, great coaches and great players, and we appreciate the chance to compete in its first year. It will be a great way for our program to test itself," said Kelvin Sampson, who begins his second decade with the Cougars in 2024-25.

The Players Era Festival will feature live music events, financial planning educational programming for participating student-athletes, with a charitable partner to be announced at a later date.

In addition to the NIL opportunities available surrounding the festival, all scholarship student-athletes who participate in Players Era events will have an opportunity to engage in other NIL activities in return for shares of an equity stake in the entity itself. The first-of-its-kind direct alignment between athletes and owner operators will allow players to further capitalize on their overall NIL opportunities.

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