Social media activation platform Opendorse is revamping its product line in anticipation of welcoming new clients from the college athletic ranks next year.
The wheels have been in motion to give college athletes the option of monetizing their names, images and likenesses since California passed a bill on the topic in February, and each division will vote on how to proceed at the 2021 NCAA Convention in January.
Opendorse’s flagship product, Opendorse Social (formerly Opendorse for Sports), is currently used by over 25,000 athletes, 1,000 teams and 500 sponsors.
Later this year, it will be joined by two new core products: Opendorse Deals and Opendorse Monitor.
Deals and Monitor are aimed at managing the endorsement process and providing safety and opportunities for athletes, sports organizations, schools and partners, with oversight, security and scale “as the endorsement market grows from 5,000 eligible athletes today to 500,000 the moment NIL policy changes come into effect in 2021,” the company said in a statement.
Deals provides end-to-end management between athletes, sponsors and fans, and brands can use Opendorse’s Open Network to discover athletes and reach deals covering social media endorsements, commercial shoots, autograph signings, personalized messages and event appearances. Sponsors and athletes can create, promote, negotiate and report on each step of a paid engagement.
Meanwhile, Monitor will provide oversight and protection to ensure that deals accepted by athletes are with credible parties, within the boundaries set by players’ unions and governing bodies, and help mitigate the risks inherent with financial transactions.
Opendorse said it is a key solution for governing bodies, compliance departments and life skills teams, enabling them to preview transactions before they are finalized and see information on deals that have already occurred.
The company added that when applicable, Monitor can be used to disclose NIL activities, ensuring compliance within policy guardrails and the fair use of media rights.
Opendorse CEO Blake Lawrence said in a statement, “We’re on the one-yard line of a fundamental shift not just in college athletics, but the athlete endorsement ecosystem as a whole. This is a $6 billion industry that is largely managed by spreadsheets and sticky notes. Right now, it can squeak by because 5,000 eligible athletes are represented by agents or marketing reps. But a 100X growth is going to happen overnight—and that’s why we’re evolving our endorsement management platform to ensure that every athlete has the protection and opportunity they need to win in this new era.”
He added, “The athlete endorsement industry must be tech-driven now not just for the pros, but soon, for student-athletes. The stars of the future—those that sponsors want to align with—by the time they become pros, they will have used technology to manage and maximize their endorsement value for years. At Opendorse, we have spent the last eight-plus years preparing for this moment. We have built this battle-tested solution at the pro level alongside the most marketable athletes, players unions and sponsors in sports. Now, we’re evolving our endorsement management platform to accommodate for the increase in volume and coming regulatory changes.”