Louisville Athletics Announces “ELEVATE” Initiative

Name, Image, and Likeness, or NIL, is something college athletes have never had to deal with before. However, changes to the rules and regulations of college athletics are coming that will allow student-athletes to profit from their names, images, and likenesses. Louisville Athletics chose a proactive approach to helping student-athletes learn about the new world opened to them with NIL changes and offering a way to help cultivate their brand and public image with their “ELEVATE” initiative.

“ELEVATE” will be powered by a company called Opendorse. The program will be available to all Louisville student-athletes. It is designed to help student-athletes understand their rights in regards to NIL and to help educate them on building their brand and maximizing their value while at UofL.

Once again AD Vince Tyra has UofL Athletics prepared and ready for a seminal change coming to the college athletics landscape. It’s a change that should’ve happened long ago honestly. With “ELEVATE,” Louisville student-athletes will be as prepared as any student-athletes in the country to both cultivate their individual brands and maximize their worth once the NIL comes into being officially.

You can read all the details about “ELEVATE” in UofL Athletics press release below.


Louisville Athletics to Prepare Student-Athletes for NIL with Opendorse

Louisville launches ELEVATE powered by Opendorse Ready,  to Cultivate and Protect the Value of Student-Athlete’s Name, Image, and Likeness Rights

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – University of Louisville Athletics has announced an expanded partnership with Opendorse to create ELEVATE, a program designed to help student-athletes build their individual brands. Having provided thousands of professional athletes with NIL management technology and resources since 2012, Opendorse is bringing its proven social media solutions to prepare all of the student-athletes at the University of Louisville for the coming changes to Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) rights.

“There is no question that change is coming to Name, Image, and Likeness rights for our student-athletes—and it’s coming quickly,” said Vince Tyra, Vice President, Director of Athletics at the University of Louisville. “It’s on us as leaders to be prepared with innovative solutions to best help athletes, coaches, and staff in this area just as we would any other aspect of elite performance. We are committed to developing the totality of our student-athletes for success far beyond their time with us—and these days, knowing how to protect and maximize the value of their personal brand is a critical part of that toolkit.”

ELEVATE provides student-athletes the opportunity to understand their NIL rights and receive hands-on assistance from experts to maximize their value while on campus. The program offers three core pillars to student-athlete success: Assessment, Education, and Performance – tailored to assist each individual athlete. The agreement allows the Cardinals to provide the program’s NIL readiness solutions to every student-athlete at the University.

“Sometimes the entire ‘enterprise’ of big-time college sports brands can unwittingly mask the real people behind the uniforms”, said Lottie Stockwell, Louisville’s Associate Athletic Director for Marketing. “The reality is that each of our athletes are individuals with their own dynamic stories—and, they are living, breathing extensions of Louisville Athletics. To be true stewards of own brand, we must  cultivate, protect and value each of theirs.”

The partnership positions Louisville among the first universities nationwide to launch an NIL solution for every student-athlete on campus. The Cardinals join the University of Nebraska, Clemson, Indiana, Fresno State, and several others as the first schools to adopt the program. 

“Louisville has produced winners and endorsement leaders at the highest levels of professional sports,” added Tyra. “With this partnership, we know that our program has the right tools to not only prepare our athletes for NIL, but to prepare them for success in life far beyond athletics.”

“From Lamar Jackson to Donovan Mitchell, Louisville Athletics has helped to produce some of the most marketable athletes in sports in recent years,” said Opendorse CEO Blake Lawrence. “This athlete-driven success is no accident. Their team has long been committed to providing its student-athletes with the best brand development tools in market. With Opendorse Ready ELEVATE, I believe Louisville is in prime position to maximize their student-athletes’ NIL opportunities both in the regional market, and nationwide.”

Founded by Nebraska Football alumni Blake Lawrence and Adi Kunalic, Opendorse has become a proven market leader in helping sports organizations and their athletes increase the value of their Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) with social media. More than 20,000 athletes currently use Opendorse to maximize their endorsement value in collaboration with partners on social media. In addition to partnerships with more than 100 college athletics programs, Opendorse has also partnered with the NFLPA, NBPA, NHL, PGA Tour among other sports properties. Hundreds of brands including Pepsi, Procter & Gamble, and EA Sports also use the platform to execute endorsement campaigns with professional athletes.

About Opendorse

Opendorse powers the athlete endorsement ecosystem. Today more than 20,000 athletes around the world use the sports technology company to build their personal brands by publishing social media content from partners including the PGA TOUR, NHL, NFLPA, NBPA, over 100 professional and collegiate sports teams, and hundreds of brands.

The platform is purpose-built for athletes make the most of their moment and to capture the massive opportunity at-hand with the organizations they’re connected to. From All-Americans to All-Pros – when athletes maximize endorsement value alongside their partners and organizations – they do it with Opendorse.


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