Nebraska announced Tuesday it will provide all of its student-athletes a first-ever program designed to help the athletes build their individual brands through social media and the digital space.
In conjunction with athlete-driven marketing platform Opendorse, Nebraska will offer the Ready Now Program to maximize the value of each student-athlete's brand and help guide the athlete through executing a social media strategy.
"Nebraska has always been a leader in college athletics," Nebraska athletic director Bill Moos said. "With that spirit in mind we are excited to partner with Opendorse. This agreement will provide all of our student-athletes the education and assessment tools they need to navigate the complexities of social media and maximize their brand in the digital world.
"As a father of a current Division I football player, I have a good understanding of how important social media is in the daily lives of our student-athletes. The ability to educate and assist our young men and women in this particular area is mutually beneficial for Nebraska and our student-athletes."
The announcement will keep Nebraska a step ahead in the name, image, likeness conversation looming within college athletics. In October, the NCAA announced its board of governors had voted unanimously to permit student-athletes the opportunity to benefit from the use of their name, image and likeness as long as it was consistent with the collegiate model.
The board instructed its three divisions to consider updates to bylaws and policies to allow student-athletes the opportunity to use their name, image and likeness as laws have been proposed in legislature across the country urging change.
This move by Nebraska puts the Cornhuskers in the driver's seat to capitalize on a decision to allow athletes to profit off of their own name and brand by equipping them with the right tools to maximize that value.
Nebraska coach Scott Frost acknowledged the opportunity his athletes have at Nebraska, saying athletes should be able to maximize that value and the potential through social media that exists at a place such as Nebraska.
"Regardless of what change comes in NIL legislation, we want every Nebraska athlete to be prepared with the blueprint for success beyond the field," Frost said. "With Ready Now and the unrivaled passion of the Husker fan base, I believe a current student-athlete's brand can be considerably more valuable at Nebraska."
Whether a rule is put in place or not to allow players to make money off of their own brand, Nebraska is pushing forward to appeal to the current athlete looking for more than just an athletic experience -- the athlete who recognizes that their brand has value and will aim to sustain its value value beyond college.