Latest NIL service aimed to connect Hokie student-athletes and businesses
From Virginia Tech Athletics:
Through its enhanced partnership with INFLCR, Virginia Tech Athletics is proud to announce another addition to its Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) efforts with Hokies Exchange. This complimentary service will offer a platform for student-athletes and businesses to interact and arrange a variety of NIL endorsement deals.
All businesses will be able to register beginning on March 3 at HokieSports.com/Exchange. Once Tech student-athletes have opted in to participate and businesses are registered, Hokies Exchange will begin to facilitate NIL transactions.
“This platform represents a great development for both Virginia Tech student-athletes and businesses across the nation,” Tech Director of Athletics Whit Babcock said. “The Virginia Tech brand resonates so strongly across our region, and we’re pleased to provide this opportunity for our student-athletes to leverage that brand along with their own unique personalities in partnership with various companies and business interests. This is just another example of Virginia Tech helping position our student-athletes for sustained success.”
Once a business, collective or individual has registered and been approved for Hokies Exchange, it will be put into a database where student-athletes and the entity can connect for potential NIL deals. Businesses can filter through the index of student-athletes and narrow down selections using different criteria.
Virginia Tech and INFLCR will not be involved in the negotiations.
Upon finalization of an NIL deal, a customized reporting form that is compliant with Commonwealth of Virginia statute and Virginia Tech Athletics Name, Image and Likeness guidelines, will be forwarded to the institution. The platform also includes a payment processing tool for the business to securely pay the student-athlete. 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.
“The Hokies joined INFLCR at the beginning of 2020, and have continually provided their student-athletes with the best when it comes to enhancing their NIL,” said INFLCR President Jim Cavale. “With the Hokies Exchange, they’re bringing local monetization opportunities, payments, and reporting all under the same roof. Consolidating their NIL strategy makes it abundantly easier for local businesses and Hokies student-athletes to participate in NIL activities, and gives compliance a simpler way to monitor it all.”
This arrangement is another step in Virginia Tech’s endeavor to bolster student-athletes’ opportunities and capitalize on their name, image and likeness while competing for the Hokies. On June 1, 2021, Virginia Tech announced JumpStart, a comprehensive NIL program for student-athletes. This initiative looks to empower its participants with knowledge and resources in building its personal brand. More recently, Virginia Tech football, along with Fanatics and OneTeam, announced a partnership that will allow fans to buy customized jerseys that student-athletes will be compensated for.
What Hokies Coaches Are Saying
“In this new NIL era of hype we wanted to make sure Virginia Tech possessed a concrete system capable of bringing immediate value to our student-athletes. This is exactly what the Hokies Exchange does. Local, state, regional and national businesses who desire to work directly with our student-athletes can find them through this app. Hokies Exchange streamlines communication, payment and automates all NCAA compliance and tax reporting to allow all legitimate parties to easily transact with our student-athletes. The more businesses and individuals who utilize Hokies Exchange the better, because this is going to maximize the financial possibilities for our student-athletes. We couldn’t be more excited about this rollout. Our student-athletes deserve all businesses, alums and fans to get involved with the Hokies Exchange.”
Brent Pry, Virginia Tech football head coach
“This is a tremendous opportunity for our student-athletes and streamlines the process for them to capitalize on their name, image and likeness. Hokies Exchange is another example of the commitment our administration has made to enhancing the NIL program we have in place at Virginia Tech.”
Mike Young, Virginia Tech men’s basketball head coach
“I believe there’s unlimited potential for our student-athletes to grow their brand with the launch of Hokies Exchange. Our young ladies are very marketable because of their talent, high character and engaging personalities. I appreciate our administration continuing to enhance our NIL program at Virginia Tech and embrace the importance it has in recruiting.”
Kenny Brooks, Virginia Tech women’s basketball head coach
“The introduction of NIL allows student athletes to be able to capitalize on their own brand and have control over how they want their name, image and likeness to be portrayed. Additional NIL resources, like Hokies Exchange, can only enhance our student-athletes’ ability to pick and choose what their names get partnered with. I think it’s a great asset that our athletics department recognizes the importance of NIL to our student-athletes and provides them with another platform that will be helpful in the expansion of their brand.”
Marci Byers, Virginia Tech volleyball head coach
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