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

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.

Each participating athlete receives a comprehensive assessment detailing social media performance.

“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 Diretor 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, TCU, 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,” 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 the market. With ELEVATE, I believe Louisville is in prime position to maximize their student-athletes’ NIL opportunities both in the regional market, and nationwide once rules allow.”



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