Marketing with college athletes has become increasingly popular as the world learns more about its potential to grow businesses, and to grow as a business opportunity in itself—like in the instance of MOGL, an NIL marketplace that won at the national SXSW Pitch competition for startups in Austin, Texas.
According to SXSW administrators, 6,000 startups were sourced as potential candidates for the pitch competition. Out of 45 finalists in a wide variety of industries, the NIL college sports industry took one of the nine victories in the Social & Culture category.
Today, March 14, event attendees will have the chance to meet each of the finalists at the SXSW Pitch Meet the Finalists event in Salon C on the fourth floor at the Hilton Hotel.
I’m in Austin myself to speak on an NIL panel at SXSW today, and I got the chance yesterday to meet with MOGL founders Brandon Wimbush, former Notre Dame Quarterback and Chief Athletic Officer, and Ayden Syal, Chief Executive Officer to discuss the SXSW Pitch competition and industry trends.
“MOGL winning SXSW Pitch shows how extremely valuable marketing with college athletes has become since it became legal for them to monetize their NIL last year,” said Syal.
Syal says the MOGL platform has thousands of athletes and hundreds of businesses and is developing at a speedy pace. Most recently, the tech startup has implemented a system to measure the ROI of influencer campaigns with student athletes on the platform.
Syal added, “MOGL’s leading NIL technology that has been around for less than a year is now proven to have the potential to earn the confidence of world renowned investors at one of the most popular conferences in the nation, above other highly promising startups in similar industries.”
The SXSW Pitch conference further validates Syal’s message on their website: “this year’s participating companies represent the most cutting-edge technologies from around the world, with the highest caliber of applicants since SXSW Pitch’s beginning.”
To date, 572 companies have participated in SXSW Pitch, with over 82 percent receiving funding and acquisitions in excess of almost $14.5 billion.
MOGL, being the only sports tech startup in the competition, has received investment interest from the exposure.
“VCs are recognizing the size of the opportunity and MOGL’s unique potential,” said Wimbush. “We’re going to spend the money on the team and give back to them because they put in the work to get us here today.”
The NIL marketplace’s mission is to empower athletes to build their personal brands and educate them in the process. MOGL also provides financial literacy and brand advisory resources to athletes and their families free of charge.
“To date, MOGL has worked with major brands such as Allbirds, Pure Barre, and TicketSmarter,” said Wimbush. “We look forward to working with anyone interested in making an impactful change in the lives of college athletes everywhere.”
Seventeen percent of SXSW Pitch winners in the past have been acquired by the likes of Google, British Telecom, Huffington Post, Apple, Live Nation and OpenTable.
“This victory is a testament to how far we’ve come and to how inclined businesses are to build awareness for their products and services using student athletes given the opportunity,” said Syal.
MOGL analytics show a higher engagement rate on college athlete social media accounts compared to traditional influencers. According to a Business Insider survey of 300 marketers, 85 percent of businesses plan on using college athletes for marketing in 2022 and 60 percent believe they drive more awareness for businesses than traditional influencers.
Businesses and athletes can sign up for free on MOGL by visiting www.mogl.online.