Champaign, Illinois – Intercollegiate Athletics and the Gies School of Business have announced new online classes focused on student-athlete names, images and likenesses. Course participants who complete all required modules and assessments will be eligible for a Certificate of Name, Image and Likeness from the Gies School of Business, one of the most innovative and respected business schools in the United States.
“Education of young people is at the heart of our mission, and I’m proud that Gies has had the opportunity to partner with DIA to help educate Illinois student-athletes in this new field,” said Geoffrey Brown and Joseph, deans of the Gies School of Business and Margot Lakonishok Business School professor. “Our business curriculum and faculty are among the strongest in the country, and I look forward to the opportunity to demonstrate our ability to serve student-athletes.”
The online course titled “Business Skills for Student-Athletes: Navigating Names, Image, and Likeness Opportunities” follows the framework of the Impact Program, DIA’s educational strategy to support Illini student-athletes in the NIL-related fight. The pillars of the Impact program are brand and strategy development, business innovation and entrepreneurship, and financial literacy, each of which is emphasized through the curriculum developed for this new program. The program leverages the Gies School of Business’ expertise and creative library to provide a focused educational experience tailored specifically for student-athletes.
“As a student-athlete, I would say this program is perfect for me,” said Abby Lynch, a biathlete and soccer athlete who is also a sophomore at the Gies School of Business. “I knew that in order to really take advantage of my NIL, I needed to learn some key business concepts, and the online format allowed me to learn those concepts at a pace that fit my schedule,”
The new curriculum will operate in conjunction with DIA’s recently announced Brand Ambassador program, which is being run in conjunction with the University of Illinois Center for Media and Branding, which pairs student-athletes and other organizations with individual brand ambassadors to build and better develop their Personal branding strategy.
“Student-athlete education has always been at the heart of our NIL strategy,” said Athletics Director Josh Whitman. “We’ve been working hard to create a best-in-class online platform to meet the needs of student-athletes, and I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished in this work. I thank Dean Brown, Dr. Tiffany White, Dr. Gary Hecht, Amanda Brantner, and everyone involved The man who brought our shared vision of education into reality.”
Illinois student-athletes can enroll in online classes through Canvas today, and the Guice School of Business plans to offer the class to other colleges in the near future.