UO launches initiative to support student-athlete marketing

As varsity athletics enter a new era, the sports marketing center at Lundquist College of Business in Warsaw is partnering with the School of Journalism and Communications to launch the Oregon Accelerator, the first in its genre, a full-service student-led marketing and branded collective to help support UO athletes.

The Oregon Accelerator will help guide student-athletes as they seek to maximize the opportunities available to them under the new NCAA rules and Oregon Senate Bill 5 , that allow university athletes to be compensated for the use of their name, image and likeness, often referred to as NIL, outside of official team activities.

“We have been a leader in educating and inspiring the next generation of sports marketers, brand strategists and content creators and breakthrough innovators,” said Sarah E. Nutter, Dean Edward E. Maletis of the Lundquist College of Business. “We are proud to partner with this unique Oregon initiative, which combines our academic mission and the best academic programs to enable Oregon Track and Field and our student-athletes to also set the standard on this. playground. “

The Oregon Accelerator – which exemplifies the power of the new college-wide sport and wellness initiative – will leverage the combined strengths and reputation of the Lundquist College of Business and the School of Journalism and Communication in advertising, public relations, marketing, sports business, sponsorship, strategy, financial literacy and entrepreneurship to build a student marketing / branding / creative studio.

“Hands-on learning is a hallmark of the University of Oregon, and the Oregon Accelerator adds to the strong opportunities we provide for students to develop their talent and gain first-hand portfolio building experiences that match their career goals, ”said Juan-Carlos Molleda, Edwin L. Artzt Dean of the School of Journalism and Communication. “In addition to mentoring in creative strategy and content production, our faculty can provide insight into communication ethics, law, and psychology, as well as the use of emerging and immersive media technologies. “

Helped and advised by faculty members and alumni, the collective will be made up of students from many disciplines. All students will be eligible to participate, but the majority will be from Warsaw Sports Marketing Center, School of Journalism and Communication and Lundquist College of Business.

“NIL allows all of our student-athletes to stand out,” noted Troy Elias, director of the advertising program and associate professor at the School of Journalism and Communication. “The Oregon Accelerator will maximize NIL’s potential by providing social media strategy and management, business development, videography / photography, media relations, marketing and promotions, and monitoring and analysis of engagement, among other services. “

Oregon Accelerator Steps Up Operations in Fall 2021 with Personal Donation from UO Journalism Alumnus Barbara blangiardi, senior vice president of creative partnerships and strategies at Fox Sports. Blangiardi sits on the advisory boards of the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center and the School of Journalism and Communication. In addition to seed funding, she provided valuable information to students and faculty as they developed the concept for the Oregon Accelerator.

“At Oregon, we salute innovation as our tradition, especially in sports. I am proud to help continue this tradition with this forward-thinking approach, which will support the opportunities created by NIL not only for our student-athletes but also for other students, thus strengthening our position as a leader in the field of sport and in sport business. “Blangiardi said.” We are once again bringing our vision to life: ‘Oregon Only’. “

“We are extremely grateful to Barbara for her support and passion in helping us launch the Oregon Accelerator,” said Craig Leon, MBA program manager for the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center and elite professional runner with direct experience in navigating sponsorship and NIL opportunities.

Leon said much of the work of conceptualizing, researching, and proposing the collective idea was student-led, with guidance and coaching from many faculty members. Specifically, Oregon MBA the students interviewed coaches, student-athletes, and business, journalism and communications students to create an operational plan for the Oregon Accelerator.

The Oregon Accelerator adds to and complements the separate work of Rue de la Division, Inc., a company started by prominent UO alumni to accelerate opportunities in NIL’s rapidly changing landscape. Former Oregon Superstar Sabrina Ionescu will serve as Director of Athletes for Division Street. Ionescu graduated in 2020 from the Masters of Advertising and Brand Responsibility program at the School of Journalism and Communication, a one-of-a-kind professional graduate program created to solve ethical brand strategy and development issues. .

Charles T. McConnell