UTSA teams with Florida firm to boost athlete branding

Firm sees SA university as prime target as dealmaking escalates

UTSA football livestream (KSAT)

The University of Texas at San Antonio Department of Intercollegiate Athletics has entered into a licensing agreement with The Brandr Group in an effort to expand marketing opportunities for its student athletes.

That alliance comes as universities across the U.S. are scrambling to create opportunities for student athletes who want to cash in on NIL deals. To be competitive, UTSA has to get in the game, and it’s teamed with a Florida firm already working with 40-plus universities. Brandr’s roster includes programs like Alabama, Georgia and Ohio State.

“The NIL landscape is ever evolving, and we want to be strategic in discovering partnerships that positively impact our 350-plus student-athletes,” UTSA Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Lisa Campos said. “This partnership with The Brandr Group — a leader in this space — will continue to open doors for our Roadrunners.”

Brandr has already begun to connect with UTSA athletes in multiple sports, and Rick Perko, vice president of program development for the company, said the opt-in rate among those players has been impressive. It will work with those athletes, pursuing opportunities to market their brand with official UTSA trademarks and logos as part of the group licensing program.

UTSA athletes will still retain the right to pursue their own licensing and marketing activities.

Perko said those UTSA players working with TBG will have an opportunity to capitalize on a “vast merchandising portfolio.”

The opportunities could even be greater for a football program that cracked the top 25 rankings for the first time last season.

“UTSA was an attractive school for us to work with,” Perko said. “It’s a high-quality university in a big city with a lot of alums.”

There are some concerns across the NCAA landscape about powerhouse universities gaining an even greater advantage through NIL deals, and about who will police such activity. But staying out of the race isn’t an option for UTSA if it wants to compete.

Campos said Brandr was a good fit as the university looks to expand its NIL programming.

“We’re just trying to keep our head down and execute our business,” Perko said. “We have every incentive to keep our schools in a safe harbor.”

Editor’s note: This story was published through a partnership between KSAT and the San Antonio Business Journal.

Click here to read the story in the San Antonio Business Journal.

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