Soon, student-athletes will be able to enjoy their own name, image and likeness with a scheduled start date of July 1. The University of Iowa’s athletics department announced its new NIL – FLIGHT program on Friday.
“As we navigate this new era of varsity athletics and in name, image, likeness, we are fully committed to supporting our student-athletes throughout the process,” said Gary Barta, Henry B. and Patricia B. Tippie director of the athletics chair in a press release. “Our FLIGHT program provides them with the tools and knowledge to build their personal brands, enabling them to be on the cutting edge of NIL opportunities. “
The FLIGHT program is designed to educate student-athletes in areas such as branding, entrepreneurship, social media and more to best equip them when negotiating potential partnerships. The school has partnered with INFLCR, a company that helps universities and athletes implement NIL strategies while remaining NCAA compliant.
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For staff coaches like Kirk Ferentz, outside help is a welcome addition.
“Most of us are going to learn as we go,” Ferentz said. “It also looks like most of us are going to partner with the experts. Some smart people on the outside saw this coming, and maybe they took an opportunity. I know in my case and probably in the case of our coaching staff, we’re really going to rely on the people who understand the ins and outs of it all.
“Based on my very small knowledge base here, this will be a huge challenge for everyone when it comes to time management. This is going to be one more thing to try to take into account. I have a feeling it might be more appealing than a course in rhetoric or western civilization. I’m just guessing. It’s going to be interesting. We are all going to learn on this one.
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Here’s more information on what exactly FLIGHT will offer Iowa student-athletes (according to the University of Iowa press release):
FLIGHT empowers all student-athletes in Iowa to provide them with educational materials, NIL resources, up-to-date business and social media strategies, professional relationships, and more.
FLIGHT offers educational programs, including courses in branding, the use of social media, entrepreneurship, networking and finance.
FLIGHT provides Iowa student-athletes with the tools to build their personal brands and capitalize on their earning potential while providing educational opportunities and experiences that will serve them well throughout their time in Iowa and throughout their careers in or outside athletics.