Kansas Athletics Bolsters Name, Image and Likeness Efforts
Adds New Reinforcement to Benefit Student-Athletes Through Jayhawks Ascend
Last week, Kansas Athletics announced a new partnership with Altius Sports Partners (ASP) in its latest efforts to reinforce the commitment to enhancing the student-athletes’ Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) experience at KU. In addition to the partnership with ASP, Kansas Athletics is hiring a full-time individual as the Director of NIL Services who will guide NIL initiatives at KU. These investments demonstrate KU’s commitment to empowering NIL activities for Kansas student-athletes. As leaders in the NIL activity space, ASP’s resources, knowledge and expertise will guide KU Athletics in the following areas:
1) Provide strategic guidance and national benchmarking to position student-athletes to navigate NIL opportunities and understand their rapidly evolving rights; 2) Equip coaches to effectively recruit and retain student-athletes in this new era; 3) Prepare external stakeholders such as donors, alumni, collectives and corporate partners to permissibly navigate this space; 4) Implement comprehensive student-athlete NIL curriculum and workshops.
ASP will provide Kansas Athletics with strategic planning, compliance support and education for staff, coaches and student-athletes. In addition to educational components, ASP’s expertise will be valuable in KU’s efforts to maximize ongoing guidance, consulting services, and education to further develop, refine, and implement actionable strategies in alignment with the four pillars of the Jayhawks Ascend program and the evolving landscape of intercollegiate athletics. ASP and KU will collaborate to deliver a best-in-class NIL program to student-athletes, coaches, and staff while enhancing education and support for internal and external departmental stakeholders. The Director of Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) Services will oversee all operations surrounding the NIL programing at Kansas Athletics, including program administration, education and resources, monitoring, external communications with marketing agencies, brand development for student athletes, coordination with corporate partner NIL initiatives and serve as a key contact with the athletics department’s Altius and Opendorse strategic partnerships.
“Throughout the first year of name, image and likeness, our goal has been to build a foundation based upon education and personal brand development so that our student-athletes are best positioned to navigate the uncharted waters of NIL,” said Director of Athletics Travis Goff. “Our partnership with Altius Sports provides impactful tools as we strategically move into the second phase of our NIL program, in concert with our new Director of NIL Services role and our Jayhawks Ascend program.”
Since July 1, 2021 when the NCAA permitted student-athletes the opportunity to monetize from their name, image and likeness, Kansas Athletics has launched several new and innovative initiatives to capitalize in this new space of college athletics. Some of those initiatives for student-athletes include:
Rock Chalk NFT's
Kansas Athletics was nominated for the BlockChain Project of the Year Award at the INFLCR NIL Summit - one of three platforms nominated Over $100,000 in revenue within the first four months for licensed men’s basketball NFT’s New this fall, additional NFTs will be created for football student-athletes and other KU sports programs.Learn More
Rally House Partnership
Kansas Athletics’ partnership with Rally House allowed men’s and women’s basketball student-athletes access to sell personalized jersey t-shirts and caricature shirts tallying almost $500,000 in combined sales The men’s basketball team sold 500 autographed basketballs totaling $100,000.
National Brand Partnership and Exposure
Men’s basketball head coach Bill Self and student-athletes David McCormack and Jalen Wilson signed NIL deals with Wendy’s that included billboards and other materials with their images on them as well as a special crimson and blue painted Wendy’s location in Lawrence Hosted a joint event between Wendy's and Kansas Athletics for the Fryday Fanfest at the Phog that included Head Coach Bill Self and student-athletes Jalen Wilson, David McCormack, Christian Braun, Remy Martin, and Ochai Agbaji.
Women’s Student-Athlete NIL Programming
As part of the student-athlete educational pillar of Jayhawks Ascend, KU Leads launched a women’s NIL pilot program which was established to empower and expose them to tools to help pursue NIL opportunities. KU Leads hosted six educational opportunities discussing social media leverage, storytelling and brand awareness through resources from Opendorse and lectures from industry leaders.
INFLCR NIL Summit
The NIL Summit was intended to both celebrate the great achievements of student-athletes, while also equipping them with the tools, resources and information necessary to maximize their outcomes both in the near term, and well after they are done playing sports. Kansas Athletics had seven student-athletes attend the INFLCR NIL Summit in Atlanta June 13-15, and was nominated for an NFT Award. Football student-athlete Jared Casey was a finalist for the Breakthrough Athlete Award.
About Altius Sports Partners
ASP’s strategic guidance and national benchmarking will position athletes to understand their rapidly evolving rights and navigate NIL opportunities, equip coaches to effectively recruit and retain athletes in this new era, and prepare external stakeholders such as donors, alumni, and corporate partners to permissibly navigate this space.
For more information on NIL opportunities, please contact NILinquiries@ku.edu.