From WKU Athletics:
WKU Athletics announced Tuesday the launch of CLIMB, a comprehensive program designed to help student-athletes grow and capitalize on their brands as Name, Image and Likeness moves to the forefront of college athletics.
Through an enhanced partnership with INFLCR, the leader in the brand-building industry and a pioneer in the NIL landscape, WKU’s student-athletes will have a full suite of resources at their disposal to take ownership of their own brands and marketability.
Tying to the university’s strategic mission of “Climbing to Greater Heights” and the athletic department’s “Champions Climb Here” campaign, the CLIMB program will once again position WKU to be a leader among its peers.
“The college athletics horizon will change dramatically with the onset of Name, Image and Likeness, and I am excited to announce WKU Athletics’ comprehensive partnership with INFLCR to help us navigate this new landscape,” said WKU Director of Athletics Todd Stewart. “Our partnership with INFLCR will enable WKU student-athletes to have the content, support systems, educational resources and digital tools needed to enhance their personal brands, capitalize on new opportunities in the open marketplace and learn invaluable professional and financial literacy skills that will serve them well beyond their time on The Hill. We strive to excel in all we do while always prioritizing our student-athletes’ well-being and preparing them for life after college, and we are confident this collaboration with INFLCR will enhance our ability to achieve those goals.”
WKU is partnering with INFLCR at the Plus level, meaning it will have full access to its original content platforms, the Verified compliance and marketplace apps, and additional specialty Plus features.
The partnership will be based around WKU’s four main goals for its student-athletes within the program:
- Build Your Brand
- Educate Yourself
- Find Opportunities
- Know Your Worth
“This new partnership with Western Kentucky will have a huge impact as we approach the NIL era with Hilltopper athletics fully utilizing INFLCR Verified for all teams and student-athletes,” said INFLCR CEO Jim Cavale. “Working alongside our INFLCR Plus team, the Hilltoppers will be prepared with the resources and guidance to maximize the opportunities coming very soon from NIL.”
As part of the partnership, INFLCR’s mobile app will provide student-athletes with real-time multimedia content access from WKU’s communications and creative services teams, so that they can share the content to their own personal social media channels.
Student-athletes will also receive personalized reporting that allows them to track their social media follower growth and social media engagement metrics.
INFLCR’s Verified platform will open doors to allow student-athletes to find their own opportunities in the existing marketplace so that they can monetize their NIL compliantly. These commercial transactions will be automatically reported to WKU’s compliance staff for oversight and monitoring, while other transactions completed outside the app can be easily reported and documented all in one spot.
Existing external marketplace apps within the Verified platform include Cameo, OpenSponsorship, Influential, SidelineSwap, The Players Trunk and many more.
Student-athletes will also have access to INFLCR’s Storyteller Playbook, an in-app learning system with educational videos and texts from athletes and industry professionals. This will help guide student-athletes in their brand strategy, best business practices, financial literacy, compliance and more.
WKU Athletics will supplement these educational tools throughout the school year with additional learning opportunities through life skills and career development programming as part of its growing Student-Athlete Development department.
As part of the INFLCR Plus partnership, WKU student-athletes will have access to INFLCR’s fair market value tool, powered by Navigate, which will allow them to receive social media monetization estimates based on the advertising market value of their social media accounts.
INFLCR Plus will also help WKU market its NIL resources and successes to future recruits through guidance, strategy and support as part of the partnership.
Last Thursday, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear signed an executive order allowing student-athletes in Kentucky to receive fair compensation for the use of their name, image and likeness. Nineteen states have passed legislation to allow such compensation for student-athletes.