Nebraska Adopts Software to Develop Player Brands | Athletic Business

Nebraska Adopts Software to Develop Player Brands

The University of Nebraska is expanding its partnership with local Lincoln-based software maker Opendorse, which provides the athletic department with its business' software platform, as well as services that aim to help athletes maximize their individual brands.

Under the terms of the deal, the school will pay Opendorse $235,500 for the period from March 1 through Feb. 28, 2021. That includes the company’s Ready Program Advanced Package, according to a copy of the deal obtained via records request by the Journal Star.

Nebraska has partnered with Opendorse for the past three years, but the expanded package amounts to an increase of $175,000 for the year. The school received discounts from Opendorse totaling $62,500 off the annual price for being a "first-mover" and a "launch partner."

Nebraska announced the program, which is being called Ready Now, in a statement on its website.

"The Ready Now Program is here to help Nebraska student-athletes maximize the value of their brand with tools and services that have been proven at the highest levels of sports,” said Blake Lawrence, Opendorse CEO, in a statement. “As change inevitably comes, Opendorse is prepared to comply at scale – adapting our technology to ensure compliance just as we have for partners at dozens of players associations, leagues, and governing bodies." 

"We believe social media is at the core of this next frontier for player development," Nebraska head football coach Scott Frost said. "There's an opportunity for our players that transcends compensation today — we as coaches and leaders can provide our student-athletes the tools to maximize their future value while they're competing for the University of Nebraska.

Men's basketball coach Fred Hoiberg, who has experience coaching in the NBA, said college student-athletes now need to develop their brands the way professional athletes do.
"One of the reasons the NBA is so popular today is the work that players have done in building and marketing their personal brands,” Hoiberg said. “I witnessed that first hand during my time in the league. This is a great resource that the University of Nebraska is providing for its student-athletes. The earlier we can help our young men and women understand the value of their personal brand, the better positioned they will be for whatever professional path they choose."

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