BYU Athletics made headlines this summer with its name, image and program-wide likeness deals made for the soccer team and all math. Now they are working with BYU’s Marriott School of Business to take the next step in NIL innovation.
Each Wednesday evening this fall, more than 100 BYU student-athletes representing each of the 21 BYU athletic programs attend the new BYU Marriott course focused on personal branding in the NIL era. The two-hour class guides student-athletes to the opportunities they now have while also teaching them for long-term career success.
“We are constantly trying to connect the topic of personal branding, how important that is, and how the choices made today can impact them for years to come,” said Gary Veron, Associate Athletic Director of Student Athletic Experience. “We want them to know how to hit when it’s hot, but not to compromise on your values and your values in the process of chasing the great dollar.”
This summer, a change in NCAA rules allowed a transformed landscape for student athletes to financially benefit from their name, image and likeness. BYU Athletics is on point right now, with the Built4Life program launched in June to help student-athletes develop critical life skills in order to monetize their personal brand under the changes of NIL.
Then, in August, BYU gained national attention when an NIL deal with Built Brands between the company and more than 120 student-athletes from the soccer team was announced. Student-athletes were compensated between $1,000 and $3,000 depending on the deal they entered into.
And last month, a $2 million deal was announced with SmartyStreets in which each student-athlete would be compensated up to $6,000 for work performed and the level of contractual agreement between SmartyStreets and the student-athlete in question. The new Marriott School course is another step in helping prepare BYU student-athletes for long-term success in the NIL space.
“It has been an open class in educating us about all the businesses out there here in Utah,” said student Ben Bywater, quarterback for the soccer team. “I have enjoyed learning how different brands use social media to promote their products, and their advice on how to use social media has been very helpful.”
Taught by Professor of Business and Ethics David Hart, the class exposes student-athletes to entrepreneurial concepts and case studies while also showing a good mix of engravings from successful business leaders.
“We get them to think about life, business, and careers in ways they don’t currently think,” Veron said. “We want them to chart their course here, and this class helps them connect what they’re doing now with how it affects their future. It’s part of the Built4Life programme, but it’s an important part.”
At the end of this semester, the class will conduct a sort of Shark Tank competition where students will take the insight they have gained to create a viable business model and present it to a panel of judges. These judges will include Dean Madrian, Brigham United University’s Director of Career Services Jodi Chuen, and Lindeo CEO Brooke Blake, an alumnus who donated $10,000 to the final project.