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Nebraska to Launch Industry-Leading NIL Program: #NILbraska

Lincoln NE (June 3, 2021) Nebraska Athletics is set to introduce #NILbraska, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln initiative to educate student-athletes on branding, marketing and financial literacy, among other aspects. #NILbraska will prepare student-athletes to take advantage of upcoming Name, Image and Likeness legislation. The new initiative is yet another example of Nebraska leading the nation.

The #NILbraska program will focus on a three-pronged approach to providing education for student-athletes to maximize their potential in the NIL category: Ready Now, Accelerate and the Husker Advantage.

“Nebraska is committed to being a leader and trendsetter in the Name, Image and Likeness arena,” Nebraska Athletic Director Bill Moos said. “We were the first athletic department to partner with Opendorse more than a year ago, and we are proud that our educational program and resources have included every student-athlete in all 24 of our sports. Our focus now is on an enhanced program that will position all Husker student-athletes for success in NIL.”

Nebraska launched the Ready Now program in March of 2020, making Nebraska the first school to embark on a program to prepare student-athletes for NIL. In conjunction with Lincoln-based Opendorse, the Ready Now program focuses on Education, Assessment and Performance, and best positions student-athletes to enhance their social media profiles.

“Launching Opendorse Ready alongside Nebraska’s Ready Now program set the foundation for the entire student-athlete NIL education industry,” said Opendorse CEO Blake Lawrence. “Nebraska has demonstrated continued leadership throughout this movement and is now positioned to set a new standard with #NILbraska. I’m proud of our partnership’s success to date and excited to expand the relationship to provide even more tools and technology to every student-athlete on the Nebraska campus.”

The Accelerate component of the #NILbraska program will be in conjunction with various colleges and subject matter experts on the UNL campus. The Accelerate program will focus on teaching student-athletes how to build a business around themselves, with student-athletes receiving instruction on how to identify, strengthen and activate their NIL potential.

The Accelerate program will incorporate pop-up classes in various colleges at the University of Nebraska that will be open to all students, focusing on entrepreneurship and skills to build brands and businesses. For example, the College of Journalism and Mass Communications and the College of Law will provide programmatic and curriculum support.

“The goal was to create a program that sets a standard by leaning into Nebraska Athletics rich history of innovation,” said Joe Petsick, Assistant Professor of Practice in Management in the UNL College of Business. “With Accelerate, we set out to create a program that was not just focused on how to help the student-athletes make money, but also how they can use tools to build a business around themselves.

“The College of Business is building the core curriculum that will benefit not just student-athletes, but all students on campus who may be interested in leveraging their personal brands. The College of Business will build a team of advisors to help with all aspects of the program to ensure each student-athlete can maximize his or her potential. We are quite simply investing in the student-athlete’s next 40 years, not just the next four.”

The third aspect of the #NILbraska program is the Husker Advantage, with mentoring from Nebraska’s nationally acclaimed Life Skills program. Husker Advantage will focus on several areas critical to maximizing NIL potential, including a Personal Strengths Assessment, Brand Building & Brand Value Assessment, Communications & Networking and Financial Literacy & Compliance.

“At Nebraska, we have been committed since Day One to finding the best solutions for our student-athletes to monetize their Name, Image and Likeness while they are Huskers,” Nebraska Senior Deputy AD Garrett Klassy said. “#NILbraska is one part of that approach and, perhaps more importantly, it will prepare every student-athlete to prosper after college as they learn how to create and operate their own businesses. The best part about #NILbraska is that these resources are available to our student-athletes after graduation. #NILbraska is the most comprehensive NIL program in the country.”

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