Purdue offers education, resources to help student-athletes navigate endorsements

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University is rolling out its plans to help student-athletes navigate endorsement deals now that the NCAA is allowing them to use their names, images, and likenesses to make a profit. 

Athletic Director Mike Bobinski says they will be focusing on hands-on education and giving them resources for personal brand building. 

They will host team-based information sessions and individual sessions for high-profile athletes. 

The athletics department has also made itself available to answer any questions that any athletes might have about any potential deal. 

Bobinski says they wanted to make sure they were doing right by the student-athletes. 

“As we saw that this was clearly the direction that our world was headed, we wanted to be prepared. We wanted our students to be as advantaged as anybody in the country. And honestly, from a competitive standpoint, we didn’t want to fall behind.” 

The university also has a course about entrepreneurship and brand building that a number of student-athletes are signed up for to help give an understanding of how to run a business. 

“What I like about this whole situation more than anything is it does unleash some entrepreneurship opportunities in our students that I think will only be good for them. The sort of hands-on business building experience that otherwise student-athletes in other years couldn’t avail themselves to that,” remarked Bobinski. 

Bobinski says they drew inspiration from other states and sources that had similar laws or bills for their guidelines to make a plan that best fits them. 

 “So we’ve taken what we believe are the Purdue appropriate guidelines from each of those and crafted our own set. In our general sense, we wanted to be less restrictive, less process-oriented, less owner-risk, than some of those.” 

The students aren’t allowed to use Purdue’s image or logo without authorization. 

Bobinski says they didn’t want to limit their students but wanted to give them what they needed to maximize their opportunities. 

The university also has a program named EMPOWER, aimed at helping student-athletes build their brand by teaching them social media and digital strategies.

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