Meta Announces NIL Empower 2.0 Class of Female Athletes

Last Updated on September 7, 2022

Meta is announcing its Empower 2.0 program today, which includes 30 female athletes from nine sports across 13 conferences. The women will participate in a four-month long program designed to help the athletes increase their earning potential on Facebook and Instagram.

The first version of this program was run last fall, NIL Empower. Meta teamed up with Togethxr, Just Women’s Sports, and Overtime to amplify social media content posted by athletes from four women’s college programs: Duke Women’s Basketball, UCLA Gymnastics, Stanford Women’s Soccer, and Notre Dame Women’s Basketball.

For Empower 2.0, hundreds of female athletes across the country applied to be part of the program, which features four primary elements:

  • Education: Sessions led by Meta and NIL experts that cover Facebook and Instagram best practices, with a focus on tools to help them build a brand and grow their audiences (i.e. Reels, various monetization products).
  • Mentorship: Each athlete will receive 1-on-1 support with one of the following NIL mentors: Kristi Dosh (that’s me!), Pat Curran (co-founder of Curran Media Co.), and Jordan Rogers (founder of Perseus Creative).
  • Career Coaching: Athletes will also participate in career development workshops led by Alana Beard, four-time WNBA All-Star and founder of Transition Play, a talent development platform for athletes. 
  • Brand Connections: To help show how athletes can earn money using its apps, Meta is connecting athletes from the program with brands eager to get involved with NIL. For example, meal planning platform Eat To Perform has committed to signing five athletes from NIL Empower 2.0 to NIL deals. Meta is looking to secure more brands to participate in the program in the coming weeks. 

As you can see, this isn’t just another story I’m writing, it’s one I’m excited to be an active part of. I’m honored to be chosen as one of the three mentors for this program, and I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to help these young women not only navigate NIL but also help set them up for success after graduation.

“Everyone has acknowledged the challenges of navigating the NIL era, but it’s amazing to be part of this team providing solutions for athletes and investing into these young women’s lives,” said Rogers, who is one of the other mentors providing 1-on-1 support. “I look forward to sharing my brand marketing experience from a career at Nike and my own journey cultivating a community through Instagram. I have no doubt we will all learn from one another!”

Curran says he thinks this opportunity is huge for student athletes because of the importance of Instagram.

“I love seeing a company like Meta being proactive in this space! 99.9% of athletes aren’t going to make money playing their sport, but NIL can help them start to build a biz around their passions and hopefully have them doing what they love, in whatever field, long after college. And what we’ve found in working with 30+ athletes, is there’s no better place than IG to build biz. Which makes this a massive opportunity for these 30 athletes to learn from the literal IG experts on how best to succeed.”

The Meta Empower 2.0 Class

The 30 members of the Empower 2.0 class are:

Acacia LoftonClark Atlanta University, HBCUWomen’s Track & FieldFreshman
Alex Jean GloverSMUWomen’s VolleyballJunior
Alexia MobleyUniversity of LouisvilleWomen’s BasketballRedshirt Freshman
Anna CamdenPenn StateWomen’s BasketballSenior
Cami WilsonUniversity of OregonWomen’s Acrobatics and TumblingJunior
Corey FriedenbachSan Diego State UniversityWomen’s Track & FieldSenior
Emily ColeDuke UniversityWomen’s Track & FieldJunior
Flau’jae JohnsonLSUWomen’s BasketballFreshman
Francesca BelibiStanford UniversityWomen’s BasketballSenior
Gabby AndersonHarvard UniversityWomen’s BasketballFreshman
Hannah BarberUniversity of AlabamaWomen’s Basketball5th-Year Senior
Hasna-Kaarina BadjiUniversity of Rhode IslandWomen’s Track & FieldGrad Student
Jess DoyalDavidsonWomen’s VolleyballJunior
Katie BeilerUniversity of LouisvilleWomen’s RowingSenior
Kaylin HsiehUniversity of Notre DameFencingJunior
Kelly RichardsonGeorgetown UniversityRowingSophomore
Laila PheliaUniversity of MichiganWomen’s BasketballFreshman
Laney HigginsOglethorpe UniversityWomen’s VolleyballFreshman
Leah ClapperUniversity of FloridaWomen’s GymnasticsGrad Student
Lexi EdwardsOhio State UniversityWomen’s GymnasticsSenior
Logan EgglestonUniversity of Texas at AustinWomen’s VolleyballSenior
Makenzie SteeleClemsonWomen’s Track & FieldSophomore
Olivia SekanyWashingtonWomen’s SoccerGrad Student
Paige SinickiUniversity of OregonWomens SoftballSophmore
Sierra BrooksUniversity of Michigan – Ann ArborWomen’s GymnasticsJunior
Sitori TaninLoyola University ChicagoWomen’s BasketballJunior
Sophie JonesDuke UniversityWomen’s SoccerSenior
Syd MckinneyWichita State UniversitySoftballSenior
Sydney StephensUniversity of IllinoisWomen’s SoccerSophomore athletically (due to COVID year)/Junior academically
Zoe SchweitzerThe Ohio State UniversityWomen’s GymnasticsSenior

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