Mizzou Program Aims to Help Athletes Navigate NIL

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The University of Missouri is hoping to give student-athletes a leg up in promoting their personal brands as new state legislation has cleared the way for them to capitalize on their name, image and likeness. 

Mizzou has launched its TradeMark initiative, which was  first announced last fall. The program will provide student-athletes with the education and tools needed to build and elevate their personal brands to capitalize on NIL opportunities afforded them as Tigers.

"Mizzou Athletics is excited to move forward with its plans to provide our student-athletes with a comprehensive set of resources they need to enhance their personal brands through our TradeMark program," Mizzou Director of Athletics Jim Sterk said in a post on the school’s website. "We are fully committed to developing our student-athletes academically and athletically, and as the collegiate athletics landscape continues to shift in the months ahead, we will provide them with the necessary tools to position them for success as they are presented with new Name, Image and Likeness opportunities. Without question, it's a new day in intercollegiate athletics, and we want our student-athletes to be ready for it when the bill goes into effect on Aug. 28, 2021.

"On behalf of our student-athletes, I would also like to thank State Representatives Kurtis Gregory, Wes Rogers and Nick Schroer for coming alongside Senators Caleb Rowden and Greg Razer to sponsor Missouri's NIL bill that is now on Governor Parson's desk for signature," he added. "The support our student-athletes have received from the legislature's passing of this bill is both meaningful and impactful to current and future Tigers. We believe that NIL will have a positive impact on all student-athletes for many years to come."

Last fall, Mizzou Athletics became the first Southeastern Conference institution to enter into a strategic partnership with NIL-oriented business and Nebraska-based Opendorse, to create TradeMark, a platform unique to Mizzou that provides its 550 student-athletes in 20 sports with tools to enhance their personal brands. Nearly 25,000 professional athletes already use Opendorse.

Mizzou's TradeMark program is a comprehensive program that emphasizes personal brand management, social media strategies and financial literacy. 

"As valuable and powerful as the Mizzou brand is, we recognize that each student-athlete who comes to Mizzou has a chance to cultivate their own personal brand, and leverage that into future opportunities that will reach well beyond athletics," Sterk said. "Each student-athlete is an extension of Mizzou's brand, and we are excited to provide them all with the tools to maximize their NIL presence.

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