From WKU Athletics:
Through its enhanced partnership with INFLCR, WKU Athletics has officially launched its new Hilltopper Local Exchange to strengthen the connections between student-athletes and businesses looking to work together in Name, Image and Likeness.
The Hilltopper Local Exchange is a free student-athlete NIL business registry, custom-designed for approved businesses, collectives, donors, alumni and any others wishing to connect with WKU student-athletes. It will provide a customized portal where businesses and student-athletes can communicate, negotiate and enter NIL transactions.
Businesses interested in registering for the Hilltopper Local Exchange can request access at the following link: WKUSports.com/LocalExchange
Student-athletes will automatically receive access to the Hilltopper Local Exchange through their INFLCR apps.
“After a successful first year navigating Name, Image and Likeness, it has become clear we have student-athletes who are ready to monetize on their marketability and a business community who desire to work with our Hilltoppers,” WKU Director of Athletics Todd Stewart said. “One of our primary goals has been to find unique ways to bring the community and student-athletes even closer together in the NIL sphere while maintaining the institution’s required distance from the specific deals themselves. Hilltopper Local Exchange will provide both sides a streamlined platform to find NIL opportunities through a simple, compliant process.”
“We’re thrilled to bring WKU’s NIL system full circle with the addition of the Hilltopper Local Exchange,” INFLCR Founder Jim Cavale said. “WKU has had great success with their INFLCR powered NIL program, CLIMB, so it was a natural progression to add a Local Exchange platform to close the gap between NIL education, deals, and reporting.”
After being approved by WKU’s NIL working group, registered businesses or organizations can search, filter and initiate conversations with student-athletes to discuss a NIL deal. Student-athletes may also initiate conversations with registered businesses themselves in the Hilltopper Local Exchange.
Once the NIL deal between a registered business and a student-athlete is completed, the business will use the Hilltopper Local Exchange to create a transaction that will produce a direct payment to the student-athlete and automate a disclosure to the WKU Compliance Office.
WKU and INFLCR do not get involved in the deal, and all transactions within Hilltopper Local Exchange are consolidated into one 1099 at the end of the year for easier tax reporting purposes for registered businesses and student-athletes.
The Hilltopper Local Exchange is a new extension of WKU’s “CLIMB” initiative, a comprehensive program designed to help student-athletes grow and capitalize on their brands as Name, Image and Likeness moves to the forefront of college athletics.
Tying to the university’s strategic mission of “Climbing to Greater Heights” and the athletic department’s “Champions Climb Here” campaign, the CLIMB program continues to position WKU to be a leader among its peers.
INFLCR Plus Local Exchange: How It Works
INFLCR provides a school-customized NIL exchange as an extension to their athletics website where the school can send any business, individual or collective seeking to bring NIL opportunities to its student-athletes. Once registered, businesses can search, communicate, pay and report on behalf of student-athletes they’re transacting with, streamlining the student-athlete’s compliance and tax reporting responsibilities in their existing INFLCR app experience.