Somewhere in the lexicon of college athletics there came a wink and a nod agreement between athlete and administration that the player will simply bow down to the wizard behind the curtain. Well, that all changed this past year.
Welcome to the new OZ.
I am pleased to be a part of this new NIL landscape. While some might think the streets are paved in gold, I am here to assure you that the road is paved in opportunity—opportunity for all, not just the five-star kings.
There are some bad actors in this space and misinformed journalists peppering the narrative with false hope and illogical guidance. I’ve heard it all in the last 2 years since we formed PlayBooked.
Let me back up to where is all began. PlayBooked was born out of a perfect storm. During the Covid lockdown, my daughter Chloe, a future collegiate athlete, became a social media influencer by creating a She Shed in her backyard. Her popularity skyrocketed and agencies came knocking.
Simultaneously, I was exploring the impact of the name, image, and likeness bill that was looming on the horizon. Remembering my own experience as a student athlete and graduating the University of Michigan with no money, no work experience and basically no pro prospects, l thought that leaving college with a couple Rose Bowl rings was not enough.
I teamed up with my daughter to begin unpacking what it would look like to offer a one-stop-shop for athletes to both monetize their 15 minutes of fame in college and learn how to be financially solvent when their playing days were over.
Back to the myopic lens NIL prognosticators see through. I didn’t start PlayBooked to get rich or get athletes rich. I started it to remove the barrier between fans and athletes. You see, when my son was in 5th grade his classmate got diagnosed with cancer. He was being treated at UofM hospital. His parents asked me if I would be able to get a Michigan football player to visit him. I said sure. After multiple calls and inquiries, it became very clear that simply getting a player to cross the street from campus was tantamount to what followed when Dorothy clicked her heels.
There was a lot of red tape.
This experience was the genesis of building a platform that removed the wall between the athlete and the fan. However, from a business standpoint, this was fraught with holes— until my daughter blossomed into this well-paid influencer. We married the two pathways and PlayBooked was born.
If you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far go with a team. I brought on two other partners whose backgrounds were a perfect fit. We began by learning everything about this space and talking to athletes, AD’s, sports marketers, etc. I am confident that we are an authority on this subject. While others are focused on the engine — the deep pockets of athletic departments and colleges, we are focused on the caboose.
Meaning, we care all about the athletes.
We will take no money from schools and place all our focus on grooming the student athlete with the ability to earn money, create business contacts and build a legacy.
We don’t teach the athlete how to “build their brand.” That implies that they are nothing but a product.
We teach the athlete how to create a legacy.
DOWNLOAD THE APP to find out how.