As more student-athletes across the college sports landscape sign deals and make money, Brigham Young University wants to help by providing a new personal branding and business course through the university’s Marriott School of Business.
The new class is designed to educate student-athletes about Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) opportunities while also preparing them for life after college athletics, according to a BYU news release.
About 100 student-athletes, representing all 21 BYU sports, are currently enrolled in the 2.0-credit class. The course teaches entrepreneurial concepts, explores case studies and features insight from successful business leaders, said Gary Veron, associate athletic director for student-athlete experience.
“We’re trying to continually thread the theme of personal branding, how important that is, and how choices being made today can affect them for years to come,” Veron said in the news release. “We want them to know how to strike when it’s hot, but to not compromise your values and yourself in the process of chasing the almighty dollar.”
The NCAA cleared the way for student-athletes to use their name, image or likeness in July. This allows any business to pay a student-athlete to use their name, image or likeness to endorse a product.
The change came after the Supreme Court unanimously ruled on June 21 that the NCAA’s rules restricting education-related benefits were illegal.
That’s when BYU launched its Built4Life program to help student-athletes in developing critical life skills toward monetizing their personal brand under NIL changes.
Every member of the BYU football team, including walk-ons, received an NIL deal in August.
In September, a Provo-based company made it possible for all female BYU athletes to use their name, image and likeness to earn up to $6,000.
Veron and Associate Dean of Students Trevor Wilson designed the course, which is taught by David Hart, a BYU professor of business and ethics.
Ben Bywater, a linebacker for the Cougars, has benefited from taking the class.
“The class has been eye opening in educating us about all the businesses that exist here in Utah,” Bywater said. “I’ve enjoyed learning how different brands use social media to promote their products, and their advice on how to use social media has been extremely helpful.”
Veron hopes the class will provide student-athletes with a long-term vision and success.
“We’re making them think about life, business and careers in ways that they’re not currently thinking about,” Veron said. “We want them to chart their own course here, and this class helps them connect what they’re doing now with how that will impact their future. It’s one piece of the Built4Life program, but it’s an important piece.”