CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The Division of Intercollegiate Athletics and the Gies College of Business announced the creation of a new online course focusing on student-athlete names, images, and likenesses. Course participants who complete all required modules and assessments will be eligible to obtain the Name, Image and Likeness Certificate from Gies College of Business, one of the most innovative and respected business colleges in the country.
“Educating youth is at the core of our mission, and I am proud that Gies has the opportunity to work with DIA to help educate Illinois student-athletes,” said Jeffrey Brown, Dean of the Gies College of Business and Josef. in this new space. and Margot Lakonishok Professor of Business. “Our business course offerings and our faculty are among the strongest in the nation, and I look forward to the opportunity to demonstrate our ability to serve the student-athlete population.”
The online course, titled “Business Skills for Student Athletes: Navigating Name, Image and Likeness Opportunities,” follows the framework of the INFLUENCE program, DIA’s educational strategy designed to support Fighting Illini student-athletes as it relates to NIL. The pillars of the INFLUENCE program are brand development and strategy, business innovation and entrepreneurship, and financial literacy, each of which is 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 an educational experience focused specifically on student-athletes.
“As a student-athlete, I will say that this program is going to be perfect for me,” said Abby Lynch, a two-sport athlete in track and field and soccer as well as a sophomore in the Gies College of Business. “I know that there are key business concepts that I will need to learn in order to really capitalize on my NIL, and the online format allows me to learn these concepts at a pace that works for my schedule,”
The new course will run in conjunction with the DIA Brand Ambassador Program announced in conjunction with the University of Illinois College of Media and Brand Hub, which pairs student-athletes with other organizations and individual brand ambassadors in order to establish and better develop their personal brands. . strategy.
“Student-athlete education has always been the core of our NIL strategy,” said Athletic Director Josh Whitman. “We have worked hard to create the first online platform to serve the needs of student-athletes, and I am proud of what we have accomplished with this effort. I appreciate Dean Brown, Dr. Tiffany White, Dr. Gary Hecht, Amanda Brantner. and all others involved in making our shared educational vision a reality.”
Illinois student-athletes can enroll in online courses immediately through Canvas, and the Gies College of Business plans to offer the program to other universities in the near future.