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The University of Arizona's edge on helping student-athletes through the new era of NIL rules

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Posted at 9:41 PM, Jul 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-13 01:53:49-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The University of Arizona is giving its student-athletes an edge when it comes to the NCAA's name, image, and likeness (NIL) rules.

Athletes from every team have already gone to the compliance office with interest, according to Brent Blaylock, senior associate director of athletics for compliance. He added some already had logos in hand when the ruling was made.

Arizona Athletics created Arizona Edge to give student-athletes at the University of Arizona the tools to best capitalize on their own brand.

“We built the Arizona Edge to create content that's specific to student-athlete experience that they get here in tucson, with our institution with our athletic department,” said Blaylock.

Arizona Edge arms the athletes with education and skill development opportunities.

The program already kicked off by bringing in local marketing expert Todd Hartley.

“I mostly spent time today about getting your followers, your audience, and even sponsors to know like and trust you, and then how to deliver that information in video -- the most consumable format," said Hartley, CEO of Wirebuzz.

Arizona Athletics expects experiences like these to not just help the athletes shine when it comes to business ventures while attending The University of Arizona, but lead them into the future.

Arizona edge will also act as a guide as athletes take on sponsorships and endorsements.

“They do submit the opportunities to us ahead of time. The reason for that is for us to make sure they stay within these few guidelines that we do have because we want it to be a positive experience for them. We don't want any negative implications to come from that,” said Blaylock.

The department will also be able to keep track of the business activity for the athlete’s tax purposes.

Blaylock also thinks the new possibility for income may keep student-athletes in Wildcat Country a little longer.

“Sometimes that financial uneasiness is a reason why student-athletes have to move on from their collegiate experience. I mean, anything you can do to minimize that or show them-- here's more stability either for you or your family or for others," he explained.

Blaylock said the best way for businesses to get in contact with student-athletes they want to work with is to reach out to the athlete directly.