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July 2021

    Integrate Initiative, Group Licensing, Nick Saban, and Mikey Williams Impact THE GOODIntegrate Launches Support for Walk-on AthletesJeremy Bloom, a former NCAA football and Olympic athlete, announced that his company, Integrate, will be launching their “College Game Changers” initiative. This program has dedicated at least a million dollars (some sources have stated multiple millions!) to sponsoring walk-on student athletes who exhibit qualities of performance, innovation, happiness, trust, and radical candor.“College is a time of opportunity and development, and no college athlete should be denied the financial or social support they need to pursue their dreams,” said Bloom. “At Integrate, we have a deep appreciation for people who have a high degree of grit and tenacity, and walk-on student-athletes are among the hardest working people in all of sports. We believe in bolstering the support system for the athletes who need it the most.”Bloom’s collegiate career at University of Colorado Boulder was cut short by two years after the NCAA declined his waiver request to pursue endorsement opportunities to finance his Olympic pursuit. He chose to give up college football. Integrate’s sponsorship will seek to foster the company’s cultural pillars of performance, innovation, happiness, trust, and radical candor in the current and future generations of college athletes. Eligible walk-on college athletes can reach out to college-gamechangers@integrate.com to apply for the “College Game Changers” sponsorship.NIL NETWORK INSIGHT: As a former walk-on athlete, this initiative really resonated with me. Walk-on athletes are dedicating the same amount of time as scholarship athletes but may have more limited opportunities in the NIL era. I commend Bloom for recognizing this disparity and extending this program to walk-on athletes.  UNC and Michigan Early Leaders in LicensingUniversity of North Carolina, who launched a group licensing program for their alumni in April, is the first university to bring official group licensing opportunities for their current student athletes. UNC partnered with Brandr, who will invite all of UNC’s current student-athletes to join the voluntary group licensing program, which will allow them to benefit from their NIL in conjunction with UNC’s official trademarks and logos.“This is an outstanding opportunity because it will allow our student-athletes to benefit, together, with our trademarks and logos – and to have more choices and chances to collectively benefit from their NIL,” said Bubba Cunningham, Carolina’s Director of Athletics. “I have long supported the group licensing concept because it can positively impact so many student-athletes. I’m proud that Carolina is the first program to support college athletes, past and present, through group licensing.”The Brandr Group stated that they are currently in conversations with another 30-35 universities about a similar group licensing deal. Additionally, The M Den, the University of Michigan officially licensed retailer, announced that it was offering fans the rights to get players’ names on the back of their Michigan football jerseys.At least 50 players on this year’s roster have signed deals and are available for order. Each jersey has to be personalized in a custom manner by either an online or in store order, meaning there won’t be jerseys …

  • Almost immediately following the NCAA’s blanket interim policy for collegiate athletes to monetize their NIL, Dr. Karisa L. Niehoff, the executive director of the National Federation of State High School …

  • Athletes NIL For Good, Meaningful Campaigns, Miami Football Deal, Opendorse Business Model Has two weeks of Name, Image, and Likeness felt like a year for anyone else? Keeping up the …

  • Female Athlete Opportunities, Yoke Gaming Contract, and Barstool Athlete Contemplations Over 500,000 collegiate athletes across the country gained their name, image, and likeness rights on July 1. The first week …

As NIL grows rapidly and enters 2024 as a billion dollar industry, more brands are jumping in and reaping the benefits of college athletes promoting their products or services. Unfortunately, there is a misconception that only the biggest and most popular athletes can deliver campaign results. Here, College Athlete Influencers explores why that’s not the case and how brands can maximize their ROI through college athlete influencers.

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