UNCW introduces new NIL platform
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - UNC Wilmington will introduce a new platform to connect student-athletes with opportunities to make money off their name, image, and likeness.
The platform, called FLIGHT, will also provide educational opportunities for athletes in areas including financial literacy and personal branding.
Athletic Director Michael Oblinger says the platform is a necessary step in educating athletes about NIL since the NCAA started allowing endorsements in 2021.
“It’s a massive change and I think we’ve seen, even from two years ago to where we are now, there’s been a lot of changes inside the NIL space in terms of what people can do, what people are setting up, what people are allowed to do, what programs universities are putting in place. And so, there’s been a lot of changes in the last two years, but NIL is here,” said Oblinger. “The era is here, we need to embrace it.”
UNCW has also promoted Laura Person to Assistant Athletic Director for Administration. The school says Person’s role will be dedicated to providing NIL education and support for student-athletes.
According to a press release, fans, sponsors, and donors will be able to connect athletes with activities that are in compliance with NCAA NIL rules.
“I look at it as an additive. I look at it as a way to engage more people, not necessarily slicing up the same pie,” said Oblinger. “But I’m sure there’s people in this community that have never engaged with us, that will spend money with our student athletes because they’re interested in marketing, right? They’re interested in being involved and it’s one more way for folks to be involved with our athletic department.”
FLIGHT is separate from the OneSeahawk collective, which is an organization led by two UNCW alumni. OneSeahawk is raising funds to put on NIL activities for athletes to get involved in the community. Oblinger says FLIGHT serves more to connect athletes to those types of opportunities.
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