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Name Image & Likeness

UniWorld Group Launching NIL Program For Black Student Athletes

UCLA QB Chase Griffin will serve as “Student Athlete Executive in Residence”

Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire

UniWorld Group, the longest-standing, full-service, multicultural advertising and marketing agency in the US, is launching “The NILE” (name, image, likeness, empowerment), a new sports consulting unit. The new group will partner with major brands to maximize the equity and empowerment impact of their name, image and likeness investments.

Part of the focus of this new group will be developing programs to provide mentorship, and other industry support, for black student athletes developing their platforms through NIL. The unit will also guide brands in all facets of NIL including equitable ad investment allocation, pricing, content creation and distribution.

“UWG wants to push into a space where their NIL investments in black college athletes will empower this generation to become the brands of the future,” said UWG chair and CEO Monique Nelson. “ What is most powerful is that our work will drive equity and empowerment and create the space where peer to peer sharing will elevate the conversation and provide a platform for meaningful partnerships to create a winning moment for media, brands, commerce and athlete. Transparency will empower this generation to know what’s available to them and in turn change their lives and inspire their communities.”

Joining forces with UWG as a strategic partner is Student Athlete NIL, an agency of record dedicated to working with brands and student athletes. Additionally, UCLA quarterback Chase Griffin will join the team as “Student Athlete Executive in Residence,” where he will serve as an adviser and provide insights on the student athlete experience.

“Major brands have long been the economic engine of college athletics and their investments in student athlete NIL ventures can go a long way towards accelerating equity and empowerment going forward,” said Griffin. “The NILE is here to drive that movement.”

“For Black college athletes like Chase Griffin this moment represents a generational empowerment opportunity that will jump start the engine of economic mobility for their families,” said Nelson. “Through UWG’s The NILE practice we can empower Black student athletes to pursue and properly manage NIL opportunities.”

UWG envisions brands being able to execute campaigns leveraging student athletes in real time through The NILE. As part of that real-time response, brands will be able to piggyback off cultural moments in the world of college athletics as they happen and engage in those conversations.

The NILE consulting practice plans to provide opportunities for content creation, equity building through investment, career mobility and readiness and connecting these partnerships to communities for positive change. UWG and SANIL have plans to add additional events and initiatives that will allow student athletes to partner with brands that can help them leverage their influence to build a better future for everyone they touch.

“Never before has there been an opportunity to partner with individuals who have the unique ability that student athletes do to build brand awareness and convert new customers through a unique blend of national and hyper-localized influencer marketing,” said Jason Belzer, CEO of SANIL. “We’re incredibly excited to team up with UWG to ensure that all of our brand partners will enter the NIL space equipped with the knowledge, data and insights necessary to take full advantage of one of the greatest arbitrage opportunities in marketing history.”

Although NIL has been a hot topic of conversation at events dedicated to college sports, it’s moving into a more mainstream territory this week. To celebrate the launch of the new consulting unit, UWG will host a session at Advertising Week New York 2021 on October 18 titled “Name, Image, Likeness, Equity and Empowerment” with UWG’s Nelson and SANIL’s Belzer discussing the NIL opportunity and impact for brands, advertisers, and college athletes.

UWG and SANIL say they will be announcing several major events and media initiatives over the next few months that will dive into even more new NIL territory.

This piece originally appeared on Forbes

Author

  • Kristi A. Dosh is the founder of BusinessofCollegeSports.com and has served as a sports business analyst and contributor for outlets such as Forbes, ESPN, SportsBusiness Journal, Bleacher Report, SB Nation and more. She is also the author of a book on the business of college football, Saturday Millionaires. Kristi is a sought-after consultant and speaker on topics related to the business of college sports and a former practicing attorney. Click to learn more

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