NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--From the football players to the women’s bowling team, history has been made with a one-of-a-kind name, image, likeness (NIL) deal. Every student-athlete from Grambling State University (GSU), a D1 athletics historically black college/university (HBCU) located in rural Louisiana, has been offered a NIL deal to appear, individually, on an ad in Times Square for HBCU League Pass+, a 24/7 live and on-demand sports network focused on HBCU athletics. The facilitation of this unique and groundbreaking NIL deal is through the combined efforts of Urban Edge Network’s HBCU League Pass+, the ATHLYT NIL platform, Blip Billboards, and Grambling State University, whose active participation made this all possible.
Dr. Trayvean Scott, Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics at GSU, stated, “President Gallot and I believe strongly in supporting our student-athletes, on and off the field. This NIL opportunity is uniquely aligned with our school’s official motto: ‘Where Everybody Is Somebody’.”
With this NIL deal, over 300 student-athletes have the opportunity to be paid to have their image featured, individually, on an ad located in the heart of Times-Square. Not only their image, but in their official Grambling State University school photo with school logo and apparel, something few schools allow under NIL deals. “We didn’t ask for anything special, we just worked with HBCU League Pass+ and ATHLYT to make sure the images were used correctly. Our number one goal was to help provide our students opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have. That’s one of the many reasons we enjoy working with the team at ATHLYT,” Grambling’s Scott stated.
In addition, every participating athlete will have subsequent opportunities to further promote this campaign, as well as others, through the ATHLYT platform. Ray Austin, co-founder and Chief Brand Officer of ATHLYT, the platform that facilitated the deal, is a former collegiate standout himself who turned NFL pro. “Equity is often a word used in the diversity and inclusion landscape, identifying ways that we can strive to provide a more even playing field for those who have been disenfranchised,” Austin stated. “Bringing NIL opportunities to historically black colleges and universities is a great first step in rewriting the narrative that you have to make it to the ‘big leagues’ in order to be successful.”
The ads start running in early September on a digital-billboard located at 1540 Broadway, in the heart of Times Square, through ATHLYT’s partnership with Blip Billboards. Every participating athlete's image will be displayed at least once, for fifteen seconds, as part of the campaign.
About Urban Edge Network & HBCU League Pass+:
Urban Edge Network (UEN) is a Black-owned media company focused on publishing and distributing content from HBCUs. Their mission is to connect brands with content and culture, while also providing the institutions with monetization opportunities.
UEN developed HBCU League Pass+, an ad-supported Black College Sports Network. The platform delivers 24/7 access to live and on-demand content from Historically Black Colleges and Universities. It’s goal is to bring advertising dollars, video streaming, and NIL opportunities to HBCU communities, students, and alumni.
ATHLYT is a name, image, likeness (NIL) platform co-founded by Austin and casting director Brian Jagger with a focus and commitment to make NIL deals impactful, valuable, and most importantly, available for all. With their tagline “NIL for all” ATHLYT has helped facilitate over one-thousand individual NIL deals, mostly for student-athletes whose individual names, or even school names, are not well known; but they have avid followers, support, and with whom local and national brands want to work.
About Grambling State University:
Part of America’s historically black college & university (HBCU) registry, located in central Louisiana, Grambling State University combines the academic strengths of a major university with the benefits of a small college, a combination that enables our students to grow and learn in a serene and positive environment. We offer more than forty (40) undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs through four colleges, including two professional schools and a graduate school.
In addition to being one of the country’s top producers of African American graduates and the top producer of Computer Information Science grads in Louisiana, Grambling is the home of the internationally-renowned Tiger Marching Band and the legendary college football coach Eddie Robinson, Sr., whose tenure is memorialized in a campus museum, funded and operated by the state of Louisiana. GSU is a member of the University of Louisiana System and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. Also listed on the Louisiana African American Heritage Trail, Grambling State University is steeped in history, with a longstanding tradition of excellence, Grambling State University continues to emphasize the value and importance of each student, exemplified by our motto: Where Everybody Is Somebody.
About Blip Billboards:
Blip Billboards allows small- and medium-sized businesses to achieve greater flexibility, geographic reach, mass visibility, and more billboard campaign control than ever before. With Blip, advertisers have access to over 1,800 billboards across the United States. And, because you only pay per blip (or every time your ad is displayed), you have the flexibility to diversify when, where and how you are seen.