University NIL Services

Universities are wondering how they can continue to attract the best student-athletes in the world in a time where competition is as fierce as it's ever been. Progage helps Universities provide the best resources in the country to students, while ensuring that learning and development remains the number one priority.

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Landscape Overview

On June 30th, 2021, the NCAA announced a landmark legislation change that allowed student-athletes to profit off of their name, image, and likeness (NIL). Universities, coaches, student-athletes, and parents had just hours to figure out what this meant for them. In the first year of NIL, universities had to find their footing and were scrambling to implement foundational solutions. Now that the foundation is laid, athletic departments are looking for solutions that allow them to optimize and build the best NIL programs in the country.

Progage is at the forefront of this transition, already inking a deal to represent Baylor student-athletes through a partnership with Startup Waco.

At Progage, we believe that NIL done well represents massive opportunity for student-athletes to learn marketing, entrepreneurship, and branding while earning extra money to support them and their families. However, we've heard from athletic departments across the country that even with state-of-the-art technology solutions and strategies, athletes still need support to ensure they are capitalizing on opportunities. Why? Student athletes are busy! Without hands-on support and advocacy, student-athletes are being asked to be 1) students; 2) athletes; and 3) businesspeople. We cannot take their tests, we certainly can't sub in for them during their games, but we can walk alongside them to make the process of working with brands and marketing themselves easier, better, and much more valuable.

Local and national brands across the country are now able to leverage athlete marketing with student-athletes to capture the attention of one of the most valuable audiences in the world: college students. College students represent $574 billion in spending power, and 60% identify as brand loyal. Brands they choose during college stay with them throughout the rest of their lives. Additionally, fans of college sports span large age ranges and possess high discretionary income. Given that the opportunity to work with student athletes was non-existent until just over a year ago, brands are looking for guidance to make sure they are well taken care of when they're working with athletes. Progage has worked with marquee firms like Body Armor and Laird Superfood in addition to startups looking to capture opportunity like Prevail Jerky, Real, and Cognifit. We believe that the best outcomes occur when creative thinking and strategic planning meld together with influential individuals, and that is exactly what we do for brands looking to leverage athletes in their marketing.

As the NIL industry continues to mature, we are going to see more universities and entities leveraging outside agencies who can execute powerful NIL programs for their student-athletes. As schools move from foundation-laying to optimization, Progage is the preferred vendor to provide the best services in the world for college athletes looking to capitalize on their name, image, and likeness.
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Our Services

Despite the NCAA's federal changes going into place on July 1st, 2021, each state and each University has specific rules and policies that must be adhered to. As a result, the services listed below may not be available to each university.

Hands-On Advocacy

NIL deals don't materialize from thin air, so we work with student-athletes to develop a plan based on their preferences, and then our team engages our network of local and national brands on the students' behalf. The sustainable path forward for NIL relies on ROI-positive engagements from businesses in addition to booster involvement; however, students need support and guidance if they are going to be able to deliver high-quality work for businesses. While the top few athletes at a given university may already have marketing representation, Progage delivers the solution that provides equitable value to all student-athletes.

Content Creation

The world's largest brands pay hundreds of thousands of dollars on production to support their marketing campaigns with top athletes, but most brands do not have the budget or the knowledge to execute that kind of production day. Progage fills the gap by offering universities the ability to provide student-athletes with an on-campus content team who is dedicated to being available for athletes when they need content for their social media or when they receive a brand deal and need support.

Marketing and Entrepreneurial Training

Having executed over 250 NIL deals over the past year, Progage has the knowledge and expertise to guide student-athletes on how to execute high-quality partnerships. Our training program focuses on helping student-athletes quickly understand the easiest ways for them to make the most impact. We don't expect student-athletes to sit through long, boring, videos, so our training is punchy, packed with actionable insight, and backed by industry experts.

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Progage co-founders playing basketball.

Progage came to life in early 2021, when NFL football player Kaden Smith and entrepreneur Kyle Fenner came together to create a sports marketing agency focused on helping brands win via creative storytelling and social media marketing.