The Southern Miss Department of Athletics announced Thursday its increased partnership with INFLCR (pronounced influencer) with the addition of the ToTheTop Exchange, a new software service which will assist in supporting Golden Eagle student-athletes as they pursue Name, Image, & Likeness (NIL) business opportunities.
With the ToTheTop Exchange, Southern Miss can customize and manage NIL reporting, while providing approved businesses, collectives, and individuals with a customized portal for communicating with student-athletes and fulfilling NIL transactions. Southern Miss has partnered with INFLCR since the spring of 2019.
“It’s critical for this system to be catered to Southern Miss, catered to us and be set up in a way that feels like it’s centered around what we’re doing and how we’re functioning,” said Jeremy McClain, Southern Miss Director of Athletics. “This benefits not only our student-athletes, it benefits our fans and our business owners out in the community who are looking to make that connection. Having the ToTheTop Exchange as a Southern Miss landing spot is very important to us.”
More than 210 NCAA DI institutions have entered into long-term software partnerships with INFLCR, a Teamworks company, choosing INFLCR’s industry-leading technology as a core resource for their student-athletes to build their brands and manage their NIL businesses.
Among these early adopters along with Southern Miss are Arizona, Boise State, DePaul, Florida, Oklahoma, St. John’s, Syracuse and Texas A&M, who will all launch their customized exchange portals for any interested businesses and individuals to begin registering today.
Adding to INFLCR’s core platform for content delivery and brand building, the company’s INFLCR Verified software provides student-athletes access to compliance tools, NIL education, and more than thirty third-party marketplaces in the INFLCR Verified Exchange.
“Our customers – from administrators, to coaches, to student-athletes – are innovative and engaged, and played a key role in helping our product team design and build the INFLCR+ Local Exchange,” said INFLCR President Jim Cavale. “Our launch partners are so far ahead of the curve; I’m just humbled by the trust that they’ve placed in us and in the Local Exchange.”
NIL became a reality for NCAA athletics in July 2021. Student-athletes were suddenly able to profit off of their NIL, but also faced new reporting obligations in order to remain compliant with school regulations and, in many cases, state law. INFLCR Verified has eased the transition into the NIL era for more than 150 DI institutions, providing robust NIL compliance and education functionality, and processing reporting of more than 6,500 NIL transactions totaling over $10 million since July 1, 2021.
“INFLCR’s core product has been helping institutions and their student-athletes build their brands since I founded the company in 2017,” said Cavale. “The start of the NIL era in 2021 gave us the opportunity to add the INFLCR Verified product. And today, we add the INFLCR+ Local Exchange to our product suite, which brings us full circle in supporting our institutional partners and their student-athletes through just about every step of their NIL journey.”
How It Works
INFLCR Verified partner institutions who choose to add the INFLCR+ Local Exchange to their accounts will have a customized NIL registration system that can live as an extension of their athletics website.
After a business, collective, or individual registers on the institution’s INFLCR+ Local Exchange, they can access a searchable database of INFLCR student-athletes from that institution, and filter student-athletes based on a variety of criteria. They can message the student-athlete directly in the application or request the student-athlete’s contact information (or their agent’s) to start a discussion about an NIL transaction. INFLCR and its partner institution will not be a party to these negotiations.
“We’re not an agency or marketplace that negotiates and facilitates deals for athletes in exchange for a fee,” Cavale notes. “We’re a technology company. Our partners subscribe to our software services so that their student-athletes have the cutting-edge tools to build their brand and manage their own NIL businesses while remaining compliant with school regulations and state law.”
Key points for institutions utilizing the INFLCR+ Local Exchange:
Upon finalization of a NIL deal, the compliance disclosure, which can be customized based on institutional regulations or state legislation, will include a payment processing tool for the business to securely pay the student-athlete. All disclosure and payment data automatically reports to the institution’s existing INFLCR Verified Compliance Ledger, and any payments processed using this tool will be reported on a consolidated 1099 that lives in the student-athlete’s INFLCR app for more efficient tax reporting.
In order to avoid the inherent conflicts of interest that would arise from taking a cut of athlete transactions, INFLCR will not receive any transaction fees for activity originating on the INFLCR+ Local Exchange.
INFLCR is the leading content and compliance platform for elite athletic programs, educating and preparing staff and athletes for the NIL era, all powered by best-in-class content delivery via mobile app. INFLCR works with more than 3,500 collegiate and professional sports teams with a network of over 70,000 active athlete users.
With revolutionary new products like the Compliance Exchange, Storyteller Playbook, and administrator dashboard, INFLCR enhances the athlete experience with a comprehensive solution for responsible brand-building on social media, as well as a fully compliant path to external commercial activity from NIL.
Visit www.inflcr.com for more information.