New Book From UVA Darden Marketing Professor Helps College Athletes Manage Their Brands for the ‘NIL’ Era
College athletes are competing on an entirely new playing field now that they can profit from their name, image and likeness (NIL). NIL can be a great opportunity for athletes, but only if they know how to take advantage of it.
Athlete Brands: How to Benefit from Your Name, Image & Likeness (UVA Darden Business Publishing, 2022), the new book co-authored by University of Virginia Darden School of Business Professor Kimberly Whitler and Jay Hodgkins, helps current and aspiring college athletes create a game plan to get the most out of their NIL. The book is available to order on Amazon and Darden Business Publishing.
The book presents a simple, step-by-step process in which student-athletes in any sport and at any level learn to manage their NIL to best advance their goals. Whitler and Hodgkins adapt proven brand management processes to help athletes:
- Define a vision for success and set goals that you can achieve through sport
- Design your athlete brand to align with your goals
- Activate your brand to create NIL value
- Monetize your brand through goal-aligned channels
“The chance to make money from your name, image and likeness is heady stuff for many young athletes,” said Whitler, a professor of marketing and former chief marketing officer who grew her career in brand management at Procter & Gamble. “But if these athletes don’t stop to first think about what they really want to achieve, chasing opportunities to monetize their NIL could detract from their athletic performance, academics and future professional opportunities. They need to design and activate a brand that works for them first, and then choose the right opportunities to monetize their NIL.”
Athlete Brands was developed in partnership with the UVA Athletics Department, but is written for amateur athletes everywhere. It includes examples of how other pro and student-athletes around the world have managed their NIL and are leveraging their brands to advance their careers.
The brand-building techniques, real-world examples and exercises in the book are designed to help student-athletes create a brand that not only maximizes NIL potential in college but positions them for success long after.
“Becoming a high-value athlete means more than just performing on the court. It means creating a consistent athlete brand at practice, in the classroom, in media interactions, via social media,” said Johnny Carpenter, director of player development for the UVA men’s basketball team. “This book connects the dots to help players develop athlete brands that achieve their goals.”
The University of Virginia Darden School of Business prepares responsible global leaders through unparalleled transformational learning experiences. Darden’s graduate degree programs (MBA, MSBA and Ph.D.) and Executive Education & Lifelong Learning programs offered by the Darden School Foundation set the stage for a lifetime of career advancement and impact. Darden’s top-ranked faculty, renowned for teaching excellence, inspires and shapes modern business leadership worldwide through research, thought leadership and business publishing. Darden has Grounds in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the Washington, D.C., area and a global community that includes 18,000 alumni in 90 countries. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.
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