The National Collegiate Athletic Association, based in Indianapolis, approved its interim name, image and likeness (NIL) policy at a meeting on June 30, allowing students to capitalize on their sports careers while at college. In response, the retail industry has quickly taken action: E-commerce platform Gopuff has partnered with Opendorse, an athlete marketing platform, to launch a first-of-its-kind college athlete endorsement program. The program, available to student athletes in any sport, will provide immediate, equal access to compliant payment opportunities for those who use Opendorse to receive their deal, sign up for Gopuff and promote the brand to their followers on social media.
“As we enter a new and exciting chapter for college sports, we’re thrilled to be the first brand to offer all student athletes – regardless of sport or rank – the opportunity to sign an endorsement deal,” said Marshall Osborne, head of business development at Philadelphia-based Gopuff. “Beyond the biggest stars and household names, there are countless student athletes across the country who are pillars of their communities and appeal to broad, devoted fan bases. We look forward to working with thousands of those athletes through this program with Opendorse as we continue to innovate in this new era of sports marketing.”
Through the Opendorse platform, Gopuff will pitch every student athlete across the country their first deal in the NIL era of collegiate sports, beginning July 1. As an initial offer, student athletes will receive payment for promoting the brand on social media. Student athletes will then have additional opportunities for payment throughout the remainder of the year by promoting various Gopuff offers.
“This is a once-in-a-generation moment for college athletics, and we’re thrilled to partner with Gopuff to unlock real value for every college athlete,” said Blake Lawrence, CEO of Lincoln, Neb.-based Opendorse. “We believe that NIL opportunities will exist for every college athlete, and Gopuff is making that a reality on day one. Opendorse Deals has long empowered professional athletes and brands to connect and manage endorsement deals for years. I’m incredibly proud to now bring this solution to help brands and fans support athletes at the college level.”
More than 40,000 athletes around the world use Opendorse to understand, build, protect and monetize their brands with support from partners including the PGA Tour, NHL, NFLPA, MLBPA, WNBPA, LPGA, more than 100 professional and collegiate sports teams, and hundreds of brands.
Gopuff, which was founded on a college campus in 2013, has served as a resource for students across the country to access instant delivery of everything from over-the-counter medicine and cleaning products to food, drinks and school supplies. The company currently operates more than 450 sites, including more than 275 micro-fulfillment centers and 185-plus acquired BevMo!, Fancy and Liquor Barn locations.