The new partnership will teach student-athletes how to promote a personal brand without breaching NCAA guidelines
| The State Press
ASU football coach Herm Edwards speaks after 38-20 victory against the Utah Utes at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018.
Sun Devil Athletics announced Aug. 18 a partnership with brand marketing consultant and author of “Brands Win Championships,” Jeremy Darlow. Darlow, the former director of marketing for Adidas football and baseball, was brought in to help educate ASU student-athletes on opportunities within their own brands, including exploring options in how to build their name, likeness and images.
The NCAA does not permit student-athletes to profit off of their name and likeness, but it is in the process of allowing student-athletes to financially benefit off their personal brands as early as the 2021-22 academic year.
Through the partnership with Darlow, all Sun Devil student-athletes will have access to “the DARLOW Rules” program, which includes video instruction, teaching all Sun Devil athletes the foundation they need to successfully build their own brand.
“What an amazing opportunity for our student-athletes to learn about personal branding from Jeremy and how important that is for their athletic career and life,” said Sun Devil Volleyball Head Coach Sanja Tomasevic. “Once again, our leaders at Arizona State show that investing in the student-athlete as a whole is the way to go. We will use this time to get better in every aspect of life so we can thrive later.”
ASU football head coach Herm Edwards and ASU men’s basketball head coach Bobby Hurley both released statements praising the partnership with Darlow as a way to enhance their athletes’ careers in college and beyond.
“Personal branding is essential for creating an environment which allows all of our student-athletes to become the best versions of themselves,” Edwards said.
By the end of the course, student-athletes will be able to build their own brand marketing plans using the same principles Darlow has used over the course of his career.
“This partnership, in tandem with our championship life curriculum, furthers our commitment to preparing our student-athletes for their careers after college,” said Vice President of University Athletics Ray Anderson.
ASU has emphasized the importance of their social media department as a way to expand the student-athletes personal brands. In 2015, ASU introduced the Championship Life program, a four-year program that gives student-athletes greater insight into entrepreneurialism, financial readiness, internship opportunities and professional placement.
The first two years of the Championship Life program involves transitioning student-athletes to a collegiate standard athletically and academically while achieving peak performance. Once student-athletes become upper classmen, they will take a career readiness quiz, get paired with a mentor and begin to work in the field with an ASU alumni or a connection for six months to get them exposed to the mentors business.
“We are going to weave the partnership with Darlow inside and out with the Champ Life program, we are really going to push it with our sophomore community and on,” said Associate Athletic Director and head of the Championship Life program Alonzo Jones. “Darlow is one pillar of our name and image likeness effort and because he has a smooth and easy platform, we thought we would partner now because students have time and are thinking about a number of things to include in their brand.
“It will compliment everything we are doing with Champ Life program and provide another service for the student-athlete community.”
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