Flagship set to serve Razorback student-athletes in NIL era
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Flagship is the University of Arkansas’ all-encompassing solution to enable Arkansas student-athletes to fully capitalize on the upcoming Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) legislation set to go into effect in the Natural State on January 1, 2022.
Led by Arkansas Athletics, the multi-faceted program includes working relationships with the Walton College of Business and Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship – which includes the Brewer Family Entrepreneurship Hub and McMillon Innovation Studio – as well as global influencer marketing company Captiv8 and comprehensive NIL platform NOCAP Sports to give Razorback student-athletes the best opportunity to maximize their personal brands. Paired with Arkansas Athletics’ existing relationship with INFLCR, a leading content platform that aides in student-athlete brand building, Flagship is set to elevate Arkansas student-athletes’ personal brands, social media influence and earning power.
“Just as we prepare and train our student-athletes to compete and succeed in the classroom and on the fields of athletics competition, we are committed to positioning them for personal success with the new opportunities associated with Name, Image and Likeness,” Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Hunter Yurachek said. “Arkansas Athletics was one of the first programs in the nation to add a senior staff position to lead those efforts and help Razorback student-athletes maximize their potential. By utilizing valuable resources within the Sam M. Walton College of Business and partnering with a variety of other industry leaders, Flagship will effectively serve our 465+ Razorback student-athletes and serve as a model for other intercollegiate athletics programs.”
Arkansas student-athletes represent one of the most unique and loyal brands in all of sports worldwide, reaching to all corners of the globe on and off the field through traditional and social media platforms. The Razorbacks’ social media accounts have over one million followers combined with the team accounts being some of the most followed in all of collegiate athletics. In 2020 alone, Arkansas Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts received over 10.5 million interactions with the Razorbacks’ men’s basketball accounts picking up over one million interactions in March during the team’s journey to the Elite Eight.
“There is only one Razorback, and the reach of our program extends well beyond the borders of our state, making an impact throughout the country and around the world,” Yurachek said. “Not only are Razorback fans the most passionate fans in college athletics, they are among the most active fanbases in the nation in online interaction. That helps us to continue to expand the influence of the Razorback program as well as create opportunities for student-athletes to build their personal brands.”
Flagship will launch this month with 25 returning Razorback student-athletes participating in a progressive, five-week program in June with a second group of student-athletes participating in July. The curriculum for both programs will focus on:
• Entrepreneurship Basics
• Name, Image and Likeness Legislation
• Influencer Marketing and Personal Branding
• Business Fundamentals
• Storytelling and the Art of the Pitch
Housed under the newly created Office of Athlete Brand Development, Flagship will serve all Razorback student-athletes as an in-house resource for all things NIL-related in addition to collaborating in career development programming. The campus-wide program is led by Senior Associate Athletics Director – Athlete Brand Development & Inclusive Excellence Terry Prentice, Executive Director from the Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the U of A Sarah Goforth, Marketing & Creative Services Director from the Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the U of A Cari Humphry and Senior Assistant Dean for Student-Success and Chief Student Officer at the Walton College of Business Karen Boston.
“By their very nature, student-athletes are ambitious, driven and resilient – all qualities that make them natural entrepreneurs,” Dean of the Sam M. Walton College of Business Matthew A. Waller said. “The Sam M. Walton College of Business is thrilled to be part of this collaboration to equip our student athletes with the skills, mentors, and resources that will allow them to achieve their personal and professional goals during their time as athletes and across their careers.”
Arkansas’ distinctive program is boosted by the partnerships involved to give Razorback student-athletes the most comprehensive program for success.
Captiv8, the leading global influencer marketing platform, champions the power of authentic storytelling. Captiv8 is an end-to-end solution that enables enterprises and brands to discover creators, analyze real-time audience data, launch and scale influencer campaigns, manage workflow and measure performance success through its AI-powered platform. Through the Captiv8 Collegiate curriculum, students will learn the ins and outs of influencer marketing, from its history and recent trends to increasing one’s brand value and understanding platform metrics. The University of Arkansas is the first institution to partner with Captiv8, and Flagship will help Razorback student-athletes effectively manage their brands and personal partnerships while unlocking their potential directly to marketers.
NOCAP Sports will serve as the Razorbacks’ platform to facilitate and complete mandatory disclosure and reporting requirements as will be required by the state of Arkansas, NCAA and University compliance rules. Through their marketplace, NOCAP will also be able to connect Arkansas student-athletes with businesses locally, regionally, nationwide and globally to help maximize the student-athletes’ potential partnerships. NOCAP’s mission is to give every athlete, regardless of school, sport, level and background, equal access to the best technology, resources and sponsorship opportunities to succeed in the NIL era. NOCAP Sports believes that embracing diversity, striving for equity and fostering inclusion benefits companies, local communities, the industry and society as a whole.
INFLCR continues their partnership with the Razorbacks as the department’s content platform. Through the INFLCR app, Razorback student-athletes have exclusive access to content that allows them to build their personal brands on social media. Arkansas and INFLCR are committed to helping Razorback student-athletes become storytellers and will provide educational opportunities to strengthen storytelling and branding skills. Since January 1, 2020 Arkansas student-athletes with INFLCR linked accounts have grown their followers by over 220% to more than 1.2 million.
Flagship’s thoughtful program provides Arkansas student-athletes opportunities to be connected with resources on a local, national and global level to ensure the best for their personal brand.