Ohio State is diving in on name, image and likeness possibilities.
A day after athletic director Gene Smith joined state senator Niraj Antani to unveil legislation that would give college athletes in Ohio the ability to profit from their NIL beginning on July 1, the state flagship school's athletic department announced a partnership with Opendorse, an athletic marketing platform. Together, they created a new tool called THE Platform, which is designed to help Buckeye athletes "capitalize on their name, image and likeness."
THE Platform is branded as a "unique program of NIL educational programming via Opendorse Ready + Darlow Rules tailored specifically for Ohio State" that will be "administered through the Eugene D. Smith Leadership Institute (EDSLI)."
From Ohio State's announcement:
With Opendorse Ready, Ohio State will empower Buckeye student-athletes with a custom assessment of their current brand value alongside a roadmap to maximize it. The program includes live consultation sessions with industry leaders and provides on-demand access to the NIL Masterclass, a video series featuring experts on brand building, monetization, and financial literacy from leading brands including Instagram, Twitter, the Players’ Tribune, and Overtime.
Carey Hoyt, a senior associate athletic director, said in a statement that Ohio State "went through an extensive review of the companies offering NIL services and are confident we will provide our student-athletes with cutting-edge technology and the resources to maximize their NIL earning potential." Blake Lawrence, Opendorse's CEO, says he thinks THE Platform will "set a standard of its own."
All Ohio State athletes will be involved in five "educational sessions" in June, beginning with one led by Jeremy Darlow, a brand marketing consultant.
"The Opendorse program is going to provide a unique opportunity for our student-athletes to maximize their brand value and exposure," football head coach Ryan Day said in a statement. "With Columbus being the No. 1 city in America for job growth and Ohio State being No. 1 in social media presence across all platforms, we are excited to work with Opendorse."