The new college sports slate in collaboration with iHeartMedia kicks off today with the weekly podcast “Walkie TalkieZ”
Listen to “WalkieTalkieZ” now, HERE
LOS ANGELES – April 13, 2022 – The newly launched College Athletes Network (CAN), founded by Ron Pivo and Brett Martzke, today announced it has teamed up with iHeartMedia, the No. 1 podcast publisher globally according to Podtrac, to launch a new college sports centered podcast slate hosted by the athletes themselves. Listeners will hear directly from the athletes and their guests on what life is like in the world of big-time college sports and share unique insights that will take listeners behind the curtain at a variety of schools. For the first time ever, college athletes can profit from their name, image and likeness (NIL), this now allows them the freedom to become podcast hosts and earn income. There are thousands of college athletes competing at every level who all have a story to tell and the College Athletes Network together with iHeartMedia will provide the platform to help them share those experiences. The College Athletes Network will launch a new athlete’s podcast each month and will be distributed by the iHeartPodcast Network.
“By teaming up with iHeart, the College Athletes Network is able to provide these athletes with even more opportunity to expand their audience and increase their access to advertisers,” said Pivo. “I'm excited to introduce new voices in a variety of sports. These kids are very talented behind the mic and it's time people got a chance to hear them.”
Martzke is equally excited about the prospects, "Ron is an incredible idea guy, when he brought this to me it was 100% a no brainer. I love college sports and I think this network will help feed the passion that all college sports fans share. The stories you will hear will tug on all your emotions. The daily grind of the athletes, dealing with crazed fans and the recruiting circus they go through will really give listeners a whole new perspective of today's college athlete.”
The first show, “WalkieTalkieZ,” will debut today and is hosted by Noah Buono, a walk-on basketball player at Duquesne University. Buono has been a walk-on for two different Division One programs and his podcast will discuss walk-ons from a variety of major sports programs across the country. Nothing is off the table in these conversations, including what really happens behind the scenes that the media never hears about. Buono is not new to podcasting, he's been honing his craft for the past two years and is now ready to share his work. New episodes will post weekly beginning today on iHeartRadio and everywhere podcasts are heard.
"After five incredible years of being a college basketball walk-on, I can confidently tell you that every walk-on has their own inspiring journey to tell,” said Buono. “I'm super grateful and excited that ‘WalkieTalkieZ’ now has a national platform to help share these incredible stories and I look forward to the continued growth of this podcast through the College Athletes Network and its collaboration with iHeartMedia to reach massive audiences."
In the first episode, Noah will interview a walk-on from the University of Wisconsin basketball program, who was on the team when they beat (38-0) Kentucky in the 2015 Final Four. This walk-on also has a quite a story to tell about going through a coaching change mid-season when Bo Ryan suddenly decided to retire.
Future podcasts launching this year include:
May 12 – “PlayBooked,” hosted by Chloe V. Mitchell. A podcast focused on the world of NIL. Chloe has close to three million followers on social media and back in the Summer of 2020 became the first college athlete to make money off of her name, image and likeness. She will interview fellow college athletes as they go over strategies to navigate the NIL marketplace including which companies are best to work with; how to reach out; what to say on social media; and of course, how to keep the money coming in with new deals.
June 9 – “The Birdie Bunch,” hosted by Kennedy Swann. A podcast focused on Swann's college golf journey and bridging to her attempt to make it on the LPGA Tour. Swann recently won a National Title at Ole Miss in 2021, but before that she became the first ever college athlete to enter the transfer portal. She will focus on what it takes to get recruited; dealing with a coaching change; the differences between college and junior golf; and the pros and cons of the daily grind once you turn professional.
July 2022 – “Out of Bounds,” hosted by Mackenzie and Mason Forbes. This brother and sister combo are basketball players at Harvard. They come from a basketball rich family, both their grandfather and father played for the Harlem Globetrotters. Their podcast will focus on life inside the arena and the social issues that many college athletes face on campuses across the nation.
August 2022 – “Beyond the Megaphone with Cassidy and Nathan,” hosted byCassidy Cerny and Nathan Paris. This University of Indiana cheerleading duo became insta famous during March Madness when Paris lifted Cerny up on his shoulders and Cerny knocked loose a stuck ball at the top of the backboard. While that was a great moment, these two have a lot to share about the world of cheerleading for a major program. Their podcast will focus on the behind-the-scenes performance preparation; differences between college cheerleading and competitive cheer; what cheerleaders are really talking about as the game is going on; and of course, some incredible road trip stories.
September 2022 – “Betting on Yourself,” hosted by Terry Wilson. Wilson has seen it all when it comes to playing big time college football. He played quarterback at four schools in six years. His podcast will focus on this unbelievable journey that saw him lose a battle to Justin Herbert at Oregon; a stopover in the middle of nowhere Kansas to play Juco ball and become a Netflix villain; playing hero for an SEC school; suffering a major injury and fighting back; and now the buildup to the biggest moment in his life, the NFL Draft.
October 2022 – “ The Frugal Athlete,” hosted by Amobi Okugu. Okugu is a former UCLA soccer player who was named the PAC 10 Freshmen of the Year before getting drafted into Major League Soccer. He played nine years of professional soccer before retiring. This podcast will provide an insider’s look into the financial playbooks of athletes, give insight to what it means to be a frugal athlete and discuss topics with guests that focus on sports business.
The entire slate of podcasts will be distributed by the iHeartPodcast Network and will be available on iHeartRadio and everywhere podcasts are heard. For more information on the The College Athletes Network, visit www.thecollegeathletesnetwork.com.
About College Athletes Network
The College Athletes Network was co-founded by Ron Pivo and Brett Martzke. Pivo is a 30-year veteran in the sports broadcasting industry having worked most recently at KGW-TV in Portland, Oregon and as well as a fill-in anchor at KNBC in Los Angeles. Martzke has over 25 years of experience in sports broadcasting, working as a producer for the Golf Channel, CNN/Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports and NBC Sports. Together they will deliver content that will entertain and inform college sports fans, and to give enterprising college athletes an avenue to increase visibility for their own platform. Podcasts across The College Athletes Network are distributed by the iHeartPodcast Network.