Greater Louisville Inc. The Metro Chamber of Commerce
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December 19, 2022 9:03am

Investor Perspective: NIL is good for business, good for Student Athletes, and great for our community.

On January 18, GLI and the University of Louisville Athletics Department are teaming up to host an event to help connect student-athletes with businesses interested in participating in Name, Image, and Likeness(NIL) opportunities. This event aims to provide NIL education and facilitate introductory meetings between student-athletes and businesses interested in the NIL space and connect with student-athletes to discuss potential NIL opportunities. Zack McKay, director of NIL Services and Engagement for Louisville Athletics, explains the benefits of NIL for businesses, student-athletes, and the community as a whole.

NIL is the ability for collegiate athletes to profit from their name, image, and likeness. In June 2021, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled against the NCAA saying that it could not limit education-related payments to student-athletes. The NCAA officially made NIL permissible on July 1, 2021, deferring legislation to individual state laws.

Louisville Athletics is committed to more than winning games and recruiting top athletes. We also invest in our student-athletes and want to provide enriching opportunities that will sustain them during their collegiate career and beyond. That’s why we launched our ELEVATE program to assist student-athletes in maximizing their NIL opportunities. The program helps students develop life skills, build their brand, take part in additional educational opportunities, and ensures they comply with all laws and compliance regulations.

All our student-athletes have been educated on best practices with NIL, and we have many who are eager to connect with local businesses for partnership opportunities. That is why we are thrilled to partner with GLI to better connect businesses to these exciting opportunities. While NIL is supporting our up-and-coming leaders, businesses also directly benefit. Plus, these partnerships benefit our entire community. Not only can your business reach new audiences, but you can also help deepen our athletes’ connection to the community – making them more likely to stay in Louisville after graduation.

NIL can take many forms, but we see it most regularly used for social media influencing where student-athletes serve as brand ambassadors. Student-athletes tend to have higher engagement rates on their social media posts compared to brand posts and they generally have loyal followings that allow their posts to reach a more targeted demographic. On social media, people love to follow

Zack McKay, director of NIL Services and Engagement, UofL Athletics

real people and are more likely to trust authentic voices endorsing products and services.

If you have been looking for innovative ways to reach new audiences and build your customer base, a NIL agreement might be right for your business. Interested businesses can learn more by joining Louisville Athletics, our eager student-athletes, and our partner, Greater Louisville Inc., on January 18th at the KFC Yum! Center for an evening of networking and learning about the opportunities NIL provides to businesses and our student-athletes. All registrants will also receive two free tickets to that evening’s matchup against Pittsburgh. Register and save your spot today. For any questions about the specifics of NIL, please contact me directly at [email protected].

For those unable to attend the in-person event, through our continued partnership with Opendorse we’ve launched the ELEVATE Marketplace. Through the ELEVATE Marketplace, student-athletes are able to engage in promotional and related opportunities from Cardinal fans, brands, sponsors, and donors who can browse, propose, book, and pay for NIL activities in one compliant platform.