Building Brands and Engaging Fans: How Nebraska is Helping Student-Athletes Prepare for their Future

Nebraska Building Brands

In March 2020, Nebraska Athletics became the first college athletics program to introduce a Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) readiness solution, launching Ready Now powered by Opendorse Ready. Just days after announcing the program, the sports world ground to a halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But that didn’t stop the Huskers.

With a dedicated brand development program and a team of creative and social media professionals, Nebraska Athletics helped student-athletes continue to build their personal brands throughout the uncertain summer and fall sports seasons. Since launching Ready Now, Husker student-athletes have added more than 240 thousand social media followers – over 12% growth on the year. 

Nebraska provided 453 student-athletes – a total athlete audience size of more than 2 million – with access to publish powerful media to their personal Twitter and Instagram channels. The athletes have published over 17 thousand posts in total, driving 4 million impressions towards Husker Athletics since the program’s launch in March.

Breaking that down even further, Husker student-athletes have earned an engagement rate of 16% on Twitter and 27% on Instagram. Women’s Soccer (31.6%), Women’s Swim and Dive (31.2%), and Volleyball (30.4%) are leading programs in terms of the highest average athlete engagement rate on Instagram.

Nebraska Football

Between Twitter and Instagram, Nebraska Football has provided brand development education and access to high-quality media to 144 student-athletes since launching Ready Now. With over 1 million total followers, student-athletes have driven more than 2 million engagements on social. Throughout the process, football athletes have earned an average of 14% follower growth on Twitter and 19% follower growth on Instagram.

Nebraska Volleyball

Nebraska Volleyball student-athletes understand the value of social media and are bringing an impressive amount of eyes to their program through their personal Twitter and Instagram channels. The team’s athletes boast an impressive 724K engagement over the past year. On average, a Nebraska Volleyball student-athlete will drive 1,393 engagements per post.

Volleyball student-athletes have averaged 22% follower growth on Twitter and 17% follower growth on Instagram over this time period. In addition to ongoing education and making content available for social publishing, the program makes it easy for fans to become followers with a social media roster on the team’s website.

Nebraska Women’s Basketball

Another impressive team in terms of follower growth is Nebraska Women’s Basketball. On average, student-athletes are seeing 22% growth on Twitter and 12% growth on Instagram. They’re also keeping fans engaged on their feed, seeing an engagement rate of 15% on Twitter and 29.7% on Instagram.

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