WSU launches NIL marketplace for student-athletes to gain sponsorships

WSU launches NIL Marketplace for student-athletes to gain sponsorships
Published: Aug. 29, 2022 at 11:00 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - It will soon be more accessible for businesses in Wichita to partner with their favorite Shockers, thanks to a new partnership between Wichita State University and opendorse, a company specializing in NIL (Name, Image, Likeness) agreements.

With the Kansas State Wildcats and Kansas Jayhawks kicking off this weekend in football, college athletics will be in full swing. With games, many student-athletes begin profiting from their name, image, and likeness (NIL).

While it doesn’t have a football program, Wichita State has worked to get in the game when it comes to a new online portal sponsors can use to contact student-athletes about doing business, whether signing autographs for an event or appearing in an advertisement. Players can also share content like pictures from videos and games.

Wichita State Athletic Director Kevin Saal said forming NIL deals are part of a big business opportunity that benefits student-athletes.

“You can now go into the marketplace and profit from your brand. It’s essential from a student-athlete perspective to learn about finances and marketing,” said Saal.

When he was hired earlier this summer, Saal said he’d make it a point of emphasis for the university to take a more proactive approach toward NIL deals. The NCAA’s policy on NIL has been in effect since June 2021.

With student athletes’ schedules being fairly busy, Wichita State senior basketball player Craig Porter said the launch of the NIL marketplace will help them create bonds with fans, make a brand for themselves, and earn an extra buck.

Porter said he enjoys controlling his brand but knows other athletes need this for more reasons than building their brand. It’s also a way to make extra cash while going to school.

“It’s not just basketball but every sport. There are kids from all backgrounds who sometimes don’t have the financial support they need. It’s a way for them to get that extra help because financial difficulty can cause mental stress,” said Porter. “It could affect their performance on and off the court.”