CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The Division of Intercollegiate Athletics and the Gies College of Business have announced the creation of a new online course focused on the name, image and likeness of the student-athlete. Course participants who complete all required modules and assessments will be eligible to earn a name, image and likeness certificate from the Gies College of Business, one of the country’s most innovative and respected business colleges.
“Educating young people is at the heart of our mission, and I am proud that Gies has the opportunity to work with DIA to help educate Illinois student-athletes in this new space,” said Jeffrey Brown, dean of the Gies College of Business and Joseph. and Margot Lakonishok Professor of Business. “Our business course offerings and faculty are among the strongest in the nation, and I look forward to the opportunity to demonstrate our ability to serve student-athletes.”
The online course, titled “Business Skills for Student-Athletes: Pursuing Name, Image and Likeness Opportunities,” is part of the INFLUENCE program, a DIA educational strategy designed to support Fighting Illini student-athletes in connection with the NIL. The pillars of the INFLUENCE program are brand and strategy development, business innovation and entrepreneurship, and financial literacy, each emphasized in the curriculum developed for this new initiative. The course leverages the expertise and creative library of the Gies College of Business to provide a focused educational experience uniquely tailored to student-athletes.
“As a student-athlete, I will say that this program will be a perfect fit for me,” said Abby Lynch, a two-sport athlete in track and field and soccer and a sophomore in the Gies College of Business. “I know there are key business concepts I need to learn to really get the most out of my NIL, and the online format allows me to learn these concepts at a pace that fits my schedule.”
The new course will work in conjunction with DIA’s recently announced Brand Ambassador Program in conjunction with the University of Illinois College of Media and the Brand Hub, which individually pair student-athletes and other organizations with individual brand ambassadors to build and better develop their personal brand. strategies.
“Student-athlete education has always been central to our NIL strategy,” said Director of Athletics Josh Whitman. “We’ve worked hard to create an outstanding online platform for student-athletes, and I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished with those efforts. I appreciate Dean Brown, Dr. Tiffany White, Dr. Gary Hecht, Amanda Brantner, and everyone the others involved in making our shared educational vision a reality.”
Illinois student-athletes can immediately enroll in the online course through Canvas, and the Gies College of Business plans to offer the program to other universities in the near future.