Student-Athletes Will Soon Be Social Media Influencers. And One College Program Is Helping Them Do It. – FiveThirtyEight

More than 600 University of Nebraska student-athletes are expected to return to campus for the fall semester. Like their peers, they will train to compete in their respective sports while presumably working toward a degree. They will don their school colors to perpetuate a billion-dollar industry without so much as receiving a living wage in return.

But unlike other student-athletes around the country, each and every Husker — from the senior starting point guard to the redshirt javelin thrower — will have an entire team dedicated to helping them build and maximize their personal brands.

In mid-March, the University of Nebraska and athlete marketing program Opendorse announced the launch of the Ready Now Program, a first-of-its kind partnership that will assist college athletes with individual branding to market themselves as social media influencers.

“We wanted to find a way that benefits all student-athletes,” said Garrett Klassy, the Nebraska senior deputy athletic director who was instrumental in facilitating the arrangement. “This is something that will benefit the young men and women in our programs for the rest of their lives.”

Every student-athlete will be provided a valuation of their brand as well as insights into how to boost engagement and augment their social media following. Content calendars, performance benchmarks and various strategies will be provided to every athlete representing the scarlet and cream.

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