Harlan update on NIL

Harlan e-mail today on NIL:

Dear Utah Athletics Family,

I write today to update you on developments regarding NCAA rules that allow our student-athletes to finally monetize, if they so wish, their Name, Image and Likeness (NIL). As of July 2021, all student-athletes can enter into contracts with the general public to profit from their NIL without their eligibility being compromised. There are simply a few standards that all must follow, most notably that a recruitable athlete—whether high school or transfer—cannot negotiate or sign a deal that induces them to an institution nor be involved with any contract or agreement that involves pay for play. In addition, all payments for endorsement or work must be commensurate with basic market standards.

These guidelines, recently reconfirmed and communicated by the NCAA Board of Directors, are expected to be followed by member institutions to avoid penalties. While we have seen examples of bad actors in this space, NIL in general has been a terrific opportunity for thousands of enrolled student-athletes to enable them to learn, grow and monetize with the rule change. That leads me to what is happening at The University of Utah.

Last summer, in partnership with the David Eccles School of Business, we supported NIL efforts with the launch of Elevate U to provide student-athletes with brand-building and financial management education. From there, our student-athletes launched into multiple contracts that, to-date, have generated over a million dollars in cash and trade. We have seen all types of exciting opportunities, including, but not limited to, youth lessons, corporate appearances and endorsements.

As we approach the one-year anniversary of NIL, the Athletics Department has vigorously examined and innovated on how we can best assist our students-athletes in this space. This past year, we have reformatted job descriptions of key staff members whose primary focus now is to enhance our NIL efforts primarily by connecting our student-athletes to the general public who want to partner with them.

The work of these staffers, along with others, has now led us to the announcement today of our new technology platform, powered by INFLCR, the leading athlete brand-building and NIL business management app for elite athletic organizations. With the launch of our new platform, businesses and individuals can now register and access our NIL directory to contact specific student-athletes by individually or by team to engage in NIL opportunities. For student-athletes, our new platform provides them with a simple mobile app to help with all NIL business conversations and opportunities and streamlined reporting for tax purposes.

For any individual or business that would like to engage in NIL opportunities, simply click here to access our new Elevate U Exchange marketplace.

I greatly appreciate your consistent support of our programs, and your time in learning more about how you can engage in NIL. The work surrounding this new dynamic and assuring its success for our student-athletes is a key priority for this department because it allows our student-athletes to thrive at an even greater level. It complements the great athletic success we have seen in competition as well as our record grade-point averages and graduation rates. Job opportunities post-graduation for our student-athletes are a key element of focus, and NIL allows them to build their resumes, learn about contracts and create partnerships that best allow them to be even more prepared to enter the work force.

Thank you and as always, GO UTES!

Mark Harlan

Director of Athletics

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