FanWord Joins the NIL Verified Network

The membership program represents a critical step forward in creating a more equitable and trustworthy NIL landscape for college athletes

By FanWord

FanWord announced today that they are one of the inaugural members of the NIL Verified Network.

The NIL Verified Network, established by NIL Network, is a membership program made up of service providers dedicated to ensuring transparency, honesty, and fairness within the emerging NIL industry. The initial businesses were chosen due to their consistent display of athlete-focused business practices.

As college athletes navigate the NIL landscape, it has become increasingly important for them to be able to differentiate between trustworthy service providers and those that seek to exploit the lack of regulation in the field.

Michelle Meyer, founder of NIL Network and former NIL Coordinator at San Diego State University, started building the NIL Verified Network program in May of 2022 after witnessing firsthand the frustrating reality that’s happening on the ground floor, well outside any NIL headlines.

“Bad actors are thriving in the wild west landscape right now,” Meyer explained. “Social media allows these opportunists to directly access the athletes, where they exaggerate their credentials, over promise their services, and will say pretty much anything to gain the athlete’s trust. Then, they pressure these young adults to sign horribly one-sided contracts, knowing that most college athletes don’t have the support to fully understand what they’re agreeing to. I’ve seen it too many times already. Enough is enough.”

NIL Network is striving to eliminate these bad actors by bringing together the athlete-centered NIL businesses, supporting their efforts, and amplifying their brands.

Meyer continued, “FanWord is one of those businesses that just gets it. They have been supporting athletes and growing their brands through their partnerships with athletic departments, conferences, and other organizations for many years prior to NIL reform. Now they are expanding their services and offering innovative solutions directly to athletes. Chris has incredible vision and is one of the most collaborative people in the industry. It was an easy decision to invite FanWord to be part of the inaugural class and I’m so excited to have them on board.”

To join the network, businesses must become NIL Verified™, the first NIL service provider standard in the industry. Developed with the expertise of former Power 5 compliance director and current Freeman┃Lovell partner Patrick Stubblefield, NIL Verified™ aggregates and vets information about a business’ registration, employees, business practices, and compliance with NIL laws, NCAA interim policies, and institutional policies. Additionally, it includes a review of the company’s terms to ensure they include all of the expected clauses and fair language for college athletes.

“Michelle has always been a very innovative and forward-thinking person in the NIL space,” said Chris Aumueller, CEO of FanWord. “We love aligning with partners that care about the betterment of the industry and genuinely want to empower athletes with the right tools and services to maximize their opportunities. We are very excited and grateful to be a part of the inaugural NIL Verified class.”

NIL Verified™ and the resulting network provide a crucial layer of protection for college athletes, making it easier for them to navigate the complex world of NIL partnerships. The network also offers peace of mind to administrators, who can now differentiate between businesses in a crowded market and feel confident in their choices and recommendations, knowing that NIL Verified businesses have been vetted by a third-party.


About FanWord:

FanWord is an athlete storytelling and brand development company that works with thousands of athletes and more than 40 athletic departments across the country. The company specializes in building products that help student-athletes grow, protect, and market their personal brands.

About NIL Network:

NIL Network was founded in 2020 as a free resource to help athletes, coaches, and administrators understand the NIL changes that were coming the following summer.

Today, NIL Network is a platform that equips athletes, administrators, and other early adopters with industry leading databases, objective resources, and trustworthy connections so they can succeed in the nascent name, image, and likeness era of collegiate sports.

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