The upcoming Name, Image, Likeness changes expected to go into effect this summer that will allow student-athletes to profit off their individual brands is going to change the landscape of college athletics and recruiting.
USC has been proactive on that front, starting with the creation of BLVD Studios and partnership with J1S for creative content back in October. NIL opportunities have been a major wing of the Trojans’ recruiting efforts as they host top prospects on campus this summer, selling the value of being in a unique media market like Los Angeles and the potential that creates.
And on Friday, USC Athletics took another step toward its NIL investment, announcing a partnership with Altius Sports to “develop a comprehensive NIL program.”
The USC news release calls Altius Sports a NIL advisory and education firm and states the partnership will “provide strategic guidance, consultation, and wide-ranging educational support in creating the school’s NIL program, which will benefit all 21 Trojan men’s and women’s sports programs and 550-plus student-athletes.”
“Our partnership with Altius is about much more than a short-term focus on educational programming needs as we prepare our student-athletes for this new era,” athletic director Mike Bohn said in a statement. “With Altius, we are aligning with a dedicated partner that has the resources, capacity, and network to refine and enhance our strategic vision to become the national leader in name, image, and likeness in support of our student-athletes. Located in the largest market in the world for college sports, USC and its student-athletes will have a unique advantage in the NIL space. We intend to be on the cutting edge of NIL for our current student-athletes and all who join the Trojan Family in the future.”
Per the news release:
Initially, a central component of the partnership includes developing a comprehensive education plan to support the program’s staff, coaches and student-athletes. USC and ASP’s cross-disciplinary team of NIL experts will collaborate on educational programming related to several key elements of the upcoming NIL implementation, such as rules and regulatory awareness, revenue opportunity maximization, recruiting best practices, and gender equity and social justice implications, among other considerations related to empowering student-athletes.
As the NCAA, congressional, and state legislative processes evolve, the partnership with ASP and its specific NIL focus will allow USC to be agile in response to a new and rapidly changing environment. Long-term, ASP will play a central role in strengthening USC’s NIL plan, which launched in October 2020 with the announcement of the athletic department’s in-house creative lab, BLVD Studios.
This is ASP’s first all-encompassing partnership in the Pac-12 Conference. “From being in the heart of the entertainment capital of the world, to its A-list alumni base, USC sits atop the list of schools poised to maximize on NIL rules changes in the near future. We are honored to be part of making that happen for each and every Trojan,” said ASP CEO Casey Schwab.