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The Brandcenter at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is offering a new undergraduate business course in Spring 2022 inspired by the 2021 NCAA Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) rule.

The 16-week course, titled, “Athletes as Brands,” is among the first of its kind nationwide. It aims to educate students on the NIL rule and provide them with a foundation in brand strategy as it relates to the development and management of personal brands. 

“All collegiate athletic programs are in the process of analyzing the impact of the new NIL rights for college athletes,” says Vann Graves, Ed.D., executive director of the Brandcenter at VCU. “This course will give students a chance to learn about the new NIL rule and see what kinds of opportunities are open to student-athletes.”

“Our student-athletes have a new opportunity to maximize their brand and monetize it,” said Ed McLaughlin, vice president and director of athletics at VCU. “This exciting academic partnership with the Brandcenter provides us another important avenue to support our student-athletes as everyone navigates the new NIL landscape.”

The course instructor is Stephanie Garcia, a former Division I cross country and track and field athlete from the University of Virginia. After a successful career at Virginia and ten years as a professional track athlete sponsored by New Balance, Garcia transitioned to work in content strategy with D1.ticker and college athletic administration. Her long-term vision to support student-athletes as they pursue their own dreams, both on and off the field of play, directly aligns with the goal of the VCU course.

“Stephanie is the ideal instructor and mentor for our students,” says Graves. “As an athlete, active social media influencer, and athletic administration professional, Stephanie has the relevant experience and connections to help guide students through this uncharted territory.”

The course, which will be conducted virtually with a few opportunities for on-campus sessions, will feature notable guest speakers from the cross section of brands and athletics, including TikTok, the Steph Curry Brand/Under Armour, ESPN, the NBA and more.

“Athletes as Brands” will take place on Mondays from 7-9:40 p.m. during the Spring 2022 semester. Students interested in taking the course should enter the following course details in eservices when registering:

Topics: Athletes as Brands

Brandcenter at VCU

BUSN 491-901, CRN: 43972

Monday, 7:00 p.m. – 9:40 p.m. (online, synchronous)

Course registration closes following the Spring 2022 add-drop period, January 18-22.


Read this article on the Brandcenter website

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