With student-athletes now able to make money with their name and image, University of Texas officials have created a directory to connect boosters and students for promising sponsorship deals, documents obtained show by Axios.
Why is this important: Known as the Leverage Lineup, the directory positions UT to compete with other major sports universities in recruiting athletes – and helps satisfy donors eager to help their beloved alma mater.
- Revenues regularly exceed $ 200 million at UT, and the football program’s profits are worth tens of millions of dollars.
- UT athletes, with their visibility and thousands of social media followers, are natural spokespersons.
- A state law that came into effect on July 1 allows student-athletes at Texas universities to earn money using their name, image and likeness.
What they say : âIn this new era of college athletics with name, image and likeness opportunities for our student-athletes, many of you have asked for ways to partner with them on NIL deals,â wrote athletic director Chris Del Conte to the Longhorn Foundation donors in August.
- Leverage Lineup, which includes contact information for over 200 students in 15 athletic programs, is “a hub for finding and contacting Texas student-athletes who may be interested in partnering with you or your brand,” Del Conte continued. .
- âWe are excited about these incredible new opportunities for our student-athletes and look forward to continuing to watch them build their personal brands while representing the University of Texas at the highest level. “
- Del Conte wrote that the arrangement had been verified by university lawyers. Under state rules, UT cannot be involved in providing compensation or in arranging for a student-athlete to receive compensation for NIL activities.
- UT has also set up educational sessions on personal brand development, business creation and entrepreneurship, career opportunity management and financial literacy.
To note : Don’t bother trying to pay UT quarterback Casey Thompson to promote your casino. Student-athletes may not engage in any NIL activity in businesses prohibited by state law, as directed by prospective partners, including:
- Alcohol, tobacco, electronic cigarettes
- Anabolic steroids
- Casino games or sports betting
- A gun you can’t legally buy
- A company with a sexual orientation
The bottom line: UT student-athletes have a long history of making money for the use of their names. Last month, Pinkerton’s barbecue restaurant announced to have signed a contract with hopeful Heisman Bijan Robinson.