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IOWA CITY — Iowa Athletics took a step Wednesday to stay competitive with its peers in name, image and likeness opportunities for athletes, launching an online NIL marketplace through Opendorse.
“Today's launch of its NIL marketplace is the next step to maximizing opportunities for every athlete,” Blake Lawrence, the CEO of Lincoln, Neb.-based Opendorse, said in the news release. “Now every Hawkeye fan and alumni can find, pitch and support every Iowa student-athlete with one proven platform.”
The online platform has profiles of Iowa athletes from various sports with options for possible NIL deals to request — a video shoutout, autograph or social media post are among the suggestions. Athletes then receive a notification via the Opendorse app when someone offers an NIL deal through the marketplace.
Some former Iowa athletes — including NFL players T.J. Hockenson, Micah Hyde and Josey Jewell — also are on the marketplace.
Many athletics departments already have NIL marketplaces via Opendorse or INFLCR, including Iowa State, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Minnesota, Michigan and Illinois.
“Educating our student-athletes on NIL and expanding their opportunities remains a high priority within our department,” Iowa athletics director Gary Barta said in the news release.
The marketplace is separate from other NIL infrastructure in place to support Iowa athletes, including the Swarm Collective. The Swarm, which operates independently from the athletics department, raises money for football and men’s and women’s basketball athletes.
Barta encouraged “our contributors to explore opportunities that support our student-athletes NIL endeavors,” whether that is via the marketplace or via the collective.