Altius to Provide Groundbreaking On-Campus NIL Initiative for Gamecock Athletics
University of South Carolina Athletics will take part in a groundbreaking new on-campus initiative with Altius Sports Partners that will further centralize and stabilize athlete-focused strategy, education, operations and deal facilitation in Name, Image and Likeness, Gamecock Athletics announced on Monday.
Altius will place full-time personnel on campus that will assist Gamecock Student-Athletes in facilitating NIL partnerships.
“The NIL landscape is evolving and has been a tremendous opportunity for our student-athletes,” said South Carolina Athletics Director Ray Tanner. “Since beginning our arrangement with Altius over a year ago, they have been beneficial to our process. Now that Altius will be having a Partner Service Manager on our campus, it will maximize the prospects for our student-athletes to engage in successful, meaningful NIL partnerships.”
South Carolina is one of six schools that are part of this advanced Altius program. Joining Carolina in this initiative are Cincinnati, LSU, Northwestern, Oklahoma State and Virginia.
The Altius program includes comprehensive education of all stakeholders, as well as an approach for the athletics department for maximizing each athletes’ NIL opportunities.
This position will be responsible for soliciting and coordinating agreements that involve local businesses and Gamecock student-athletes. One of their primary objectives will be to recruit businesses to join the Gamecock Exchange, which is powered by INFLCR and launched earlier this month. The service is free to both the student-athlete and the business and acts as a central marketplace for all NIL opportunities and reporting. Interested businesses can register for the Gamecock Exchange by visiting www.gamecocksonline.com/gamecockexchange.
The Altius Partner Service Manager will work closely with South Carolina Associate Athletics Director for Administration Hilary Cox, who is responsible for overseeing the department’s NIL efforts.
“From the beginning, our mission with Gamecock NIL has been to help our student-athletes maximize their NIL opportunities,” said Cox. “This is another example of strategic decisions in the NIL space to help us achieve our core mission. We will continue to improve our programming and offerings as we move forward with the focus remaining on our student-athletes.”
Gamecock Athletics will have a customized approach to connecting athletes with brand partnerships, which could include providing opportunities and resources or making appropriate introductions depending on the nature of involvement. Altius prioritizes development of athlete NIL while fostering collaboration with institutional partners and university supporters in identifying brand prospects and enhancing existing multimedia rights partnership.
South Carolina Athletics and Altius first joined forces in the NIL space in March 2021 to help USC create unique platforms for its student-athletes to learn about and capitalize on NIL rules.
The addition of full-time personnel on the Carolina campus is part of a campaign by Altius at schools around the country.
“We are excited to launch the on-campus program, which will add significant value to our partners and expand NIL opportunities for their athletes,” said Brittney Whiteside, Altius Vice President of Collegiate Partnerships. “Our top priority is to provide innovative NIL strategies and solutions to maximize opportunities for athletes in this evolving landscape.”
Among the PSM responsibilities will be supporting overall NIL strategy and daily compliance of on-campus opportunities. The day-to-day duties also entail oversight of comprehensive education and ongoing support for all university stakeholders. Additionally, the newly formed NIL-centered staff will lead identification and implementation of athlete-focused NIL deals along with marketing, branding, and content creation to support those opportunities.
“This initiative requires foresight and thoughtful collaboration,” said Andrew Donovan, Altius Executive Vice President of Collegiate Partnerships. “These schools are solution-oriented and have prioritized positioning all stakeholders, most importantly, the athletes, to maximize the NIL space and the opportunities it presents for personal, professional, and financial growth.”
With today’s announcement, the unique business model Altius has maintained since launching in October 2020 – being paid by schools, not athletes, agents, or collectives – has not changed. While Altius does not represent athletes or collectives directly, secure rights, or sell tickets, Altius-hired staff will collaborate campus-wide and leverage their knowledge and resources around NIL and athlete marketing. Additionally, each program will be based on the specifications of its institutional and applicable state policies.
Altius will continue to provide direct and real-time actionable information for partner programs, including recruiting resources for coaches, analysis of developments across the national landscape, as well as understanding of local community and campus, departmental and team-by-team philosophy, and priorities because of integration into the athletics department and daily on-campus presence.
Altius plans to have its Partner Service Manager in place before September 1, 2022.