Oregon Athletics Announces EMERGE Program, Empowering Student-Athletes to Develop Personal Brands

The University of Oregon Athletics Department recently announced the launch of the EMERGE program, a comprehensive education program designed to provide student-athletes with knowledge and tools assisting them in optimizing opportunities related to upcoming name, image and likeness (NIL) legislation.

The EMERGE program is said to deliver educational programming and content through a collaboration that will feature business leaders and branding experts from entities which include the likes of Nike, Facebook and Twitter, INFLCR, Cole Haan, the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center at the UO Lundquist College of Business, and the UO School of Journalism and Communications. Many of these leaders coming from the extensive network of University of Oregon alumni.

EMERGE is intended to position student-athletes for personal and professional growth outside of the classroom and training/playing facilities. The program will work to do this through various workshops, modules, and educational experiences comprised of three core areas (from GoDucks.com):

  1. Personal Branding Strategies and Acceleration – Branding strategies and concepts; managing and maximizing your personal brand; social media best practices, valuation, and security; positive brand association; media relations/interviewing skills; voice and identity.
  2. Foundations of Business/Financial Literacy – General sports business principles; endorsements and sponsorships; contracts; licensing and intellectual property; financial literacy; entrepreneurship.
  3. Managing NIL Opportunities – Education on NIL legislation (once enacted); agent and marketing advisor education; compliance; conference and NCAA rules; federal and state laws.

Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens made the following statement regarding the EMERGE program:

“The EMERGE program will be a first-in-class educational initiative to empower Oregon student-athletes to develop their personal brands and take advantage of all of their potential opportunities.”

Mullens went on to say, “We have created an all-star lineup of successful and highly knowledgeable industry professionals, and we are proud to partner with the UO Warsaw Sports Marketing Center and the UO School of Journalism and Communication on such a valuable project. We look forward to the impact that EMERGE will have on our Duck student-athletes both during their time at Oregon and for long-term success.”

Oregon’s social media following is currently one of the largest in the country, which include the largest overall official Twitter and Instagram accounts in college athletics. Their Facebook and YouTube accounts both rank in the top-10.

The high engagement rates associated with these accounts are a result of placing a high emphasis on student-athlete accomplishments, while highlighting and amplifying their personalities. Oregon’s EMERGE program is intended to be the next big step in continuing to maximize visibility for the accomplishments of all University of Oregon student-athletes.


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