BYU Athletics Prepares for NIL Compensation with Opendorse Partnership

Casey Lundquist

College football is entering a world where, for the first time, universities will be permitted to promote the monetary benefits of their fan base and local economy as a recruiting tool. In May, the NCAA announced its support for student-athletes being compensated for their name, image, and likeness (NIL). The student-athletes "would be permitted to identify themselves by sport and school, the use of conference and school logos, trademarks or other involvement would not be allowed." Today, BYU football announced a partnership with Opendorse in preparation for NIL compensation in college sports. 

In May, I wrote about how NIL compensation could level the playing field for a program like BYU. With today's announcement, BYU is evidently taking a proactive approach to NIL compensation in college athletics. Opendorse CEO Blake Lawrence said BYU was one of the first universities to approach them: 

"“BYU has rapidly grown to become recognized as a collegiate leader in social media and athlete-driven marketing behind leadership from Stuart Call and the athletics staff. Once NIL changes on the table, they were among the first to say, ‘What will it take to best-position our student-athletes for success?’ I’m proud to help BYU take the next step to becoming the NIL leader with Opendorse Ready.” - Blake Lawrence

BYU football head coach Kalani Sitake said, "Our program believes in helping our student-athletes develop not just as players, bus as successful people beyond the field. With Opendorse Ready, we can help them understand and improve their opportunities off the field. This is about preparing our ahletes to win once rules allow, but more importantly, to give the education and tools to prepare them for a successful future."

BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe added, "Name, image, and likeness rights has the potential to shape the next decade of college athletics. Beyond its impact on recruiting, we see this as an opportunity to provide our players with the education and life skills that will bring them value well beyond their days on campus. As NIL changes became more clear, we were quick to survey the market and find what I and our staff believe to be the best solution in the market to prepare our student-athletes for success; Opendorse Ready."

So what is Opendorse Ready? Opendorse is "designed to help student-athletes maximize NIL value by providing social media brand development solutions with proven effectiveness at the highest ranks of professional sports. Opendorse Ready provides three core pillars to student-athlete success: Assessment, Education, and Performance – tailored to assist each individual athlete. By joining now with a 3-year partnership commitment, BYU is able to offer the program’s NIL readiness solutions to every student-athlete at the University."

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