Yesterday, Michigan announced the launch of the VICTORS Local Exchange platform in partnership with INFLCR. The existing partnership between INFLCR and Michigan Football has expanded to a department-wide effort with a multi-year commitment to INFLCR Verified & the VICTORS Local Exchange, both of which will now be available to all UM student-athletes.
The VICTORS Exchange allows local businesses, individuals, and donors to search and communicate directly with UM student-athletes through their personal INFLCR app. Parties working with student-athletes through the exchange platform can simplify the payment process by utilizing the INFLCR Local Exchange direct payment feature. All data between third parties and student-athletes flow seamlessly to Michigan’s INFLCR Verified dashboard, where automated compliance disclosures from all student-athlete transactions can be reviewed by staff.
“The University of Michigan has developed a unique and integrated approach to the developing Name, Image and Likeness era that is befitting of a world-class institution,” said Warde Manuel, the Donald R. Shepherd Director of Athletics. Our NIL Working Group includes leaders from across our department who have worked tirelessly to review opportunities across this rapidly changing landscape before creating an approach that maximizes the knowledge and flexibility needed in support of our student-athletes.”
The addition of the Local Exchange platform benefits not only Michigan student-athletes but also Valiant Management, a UM-focused collective that is assisting student-athletes with NIL dealmaking and fulfillment.
Like any business registering in UM’s Local Exchange, Valiant will not have to pay any extra charges to register, and INFLCR does not take any transaction fees from Valiant’s transactions with UM student-athletes (or any other transactions that student-athletes process within the UM Local Exchange). All NIL activity, coming from Valiant and other local businesses, will now flow through the VICTORS Exchange to give UM one unified NIL system of record.
“As a leader in the NIL space, Valiant Management Group is excited to work with INFLCR in our quest to maximize monetization opportunities for University of Michigan student-athletes. As a sports marketing agency focused on the needs of University of Michigan student-athletes, and having generated almost one million dollars of NIL activity since our inception, we feel the UM partnership with INFLCR will further streamline the experience for our clients,” said Jared Wangler, CEO of Valiant Management.
Valiant will take advantage of the communication, payments and reporting tech features in UM’s Local Exchange, saving their team a ton of time in communicating with student-athletes about specific NIL deals, receiving opt-ins, and paying them with automated reporting for compliance and the IRS.
Wangler also said “INFLCR will be critical to helping us scale all of our offerings to U of M student-athletes already utilizing the platform including group licensing apparel deals, signing events, local & national marketing partnerships, licensed NFTs, signed memorabilia, media arrangements, and private training sessions.”
A part of Valiant’s efforts to bring an abundance of NIL deals straight to UM student-athletes is The M Den, The Official Merchandise Retailer of Michigan Athletics.
“Along with our partners at The Valiant Management Group, we’ve been able to play a leading role in generating NIL opportunities with several cutting edge endeavors ranging from custom jerseys and other apparel to student-athlete appearances and memorabilia,” said Scott Hirth, owner of the M Den.
“All of these projects and many exciting new ones that will happen in the near future will be much easier to execute with the collaboration with INFLCR. We look forward to working through the INFLCR technology to provide many great opportunities between The M Den and Michigan student-athletes.”
Michigan joins other INFLCR+ Local Exchange adopters like the University of Florida, in having an associated collective to populate their VICTORS Exchange with NIL opportunities for student-athletes. As leaders in the NIL space, the University of Michigan is setting the tone around the importance of investing in student-athlete branding and NIL success, with one unified NIL system for everyone involved.