Five Things you should know about FanWord BrandUp - our NIL program for athletic departments

By FanWord

FanWord BrandUp is a program to help athletic departments win and thrive in the new Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) era. The program focuses on helping student-athletes grow, protect, and monetize their personal brands through a variety of services and technologies. 

As one of the first companies to launch a product to assist athletic departments and their student-athletes make the transition into this new era, FanWord BrandUp marks an exciting beginning that allows us to do what we do best – help student-athletes tell their stories and build their brands.

To understand what makes our program unique and why it might be a good fit for your insitution, here are five things you should know about FanWord BrandUp.

Special pricing is available all the way through November of 2020.

The BrandUp Program…


1.  … benefits all of your student-athletes

One of the biggest misconceptions about the coming NIL changes is that it’ll only benefit student-athletes with a large social media following or that compete in a revenue-generating sport for a Power 5 school. It’s important to note that your student-athletes, regardless of the size of their social media audience or the sport they compete in, have a wide variety of options to benefit from the rule changes. 

First and foremost, note that the vast majority of social media endorsement deals happen with so-called micro-influencers – people with 1,000-10,000 followers on social media. Most of your athletes, regardless of the sport they play, fit into this category. Athletes have the highest engagement rates amongst all influencer types and therefore make them a perfect fit for local, regional, or national endorsement deals. 

Secondly, there are a ton of opportunities for student-athletes to capitalize on their name, image, and likeness outside of social media as well. From starting their own ventures to running camps & clinics to monetizing their podcasts – the opportunities are endless. 

Empowering student-athletes and instilling the confidence to benefit from these changes is a big part of our program and one of the most important steps. 

2.  … is tailored to the strengths & passions of your student-athletes

Every one of your student-athletes has a unique story and a different set of strengths and passions. Not everyone wants to become a TikTok star or launch a podcast. And that’s totally fine. 

As a result, providing your student-athletes with a tailored approach to their unique interests is instrumental in helping them maximize the value of their NIL. 

We take the time to get to know your student-athletes and identify unique opportunities inside and outside of their sport that align with their needs and wants. We then work with your student-athletes on how to leverage their strengths & passions to win in the new NIL era.

3.  … is customized to serve your institution and budget

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the needs of a Power 5 school will be very different from those of a DII or NAIA school. To give every institution and team an opportunity to help their student-athletes thrive in this new environment, we’re all about customizing our solution when it comes to the services we provide, the look and feel of our platform, how educational materials are delivered, the length of the program, which team has access to what kind of services, and much more. 

We’re all about collaboration and a hands-on approach to ensure that our solution is a great fit for you, your athletes, and your coaches.  We give you the time and dedication you deserve.

4.  … focuses on social media AND more

Without a doubt, helping your student-athletes grow their social media presence is a super important piece to building their brand. 

But it’s also instrumental to convey the right message. First and foremost, student-athletes have to understand that it’s not all about maximizing followers or likes. Frankly, it sends the wrong message and might even weaken the value of your student-athletes’ brands. Aligning your athletes’ social channels with who they are and the brand they want to build should be priority #1 – not “getting as many likes as possible.” After that, student-athletes should focus on building an engaged audience, regardless of the number of followers they have.

Student-athletes should be encouraged to think about their social media channels as an asset to their brand and not what “defines their brand”. A big focus of our educational services is on teaching student-athletes how to leverage their social channels the right way.

Furthermore, our program doesn’t just focus on social media either. As mentioned above, it all starts with identifying the best opportunities for your student-athletes based on their strengths and passions. If 20% of your student-athletes, for example, express a big interest in launching their own podcast, it’ll be our job to show those student-athletes how to start, grow, and monetize their podcast. 

5.  … prepares your student-athletes for success after college as well

While it’s appealing to read about the hundreds of thousands of dollars certain student-athletes will be able to make each year, it’s also important to note that the vast majority of your student-athletes likely won’t fall into this category. 

But regardless of the category they fit in, one thing is for certain – there will be a time after college. And whether that time involves sports, the corporate world, or something else doesn’t matter. Fact is that student-athletes that have spent time during college to grow their personal brands, establish a professional network, and learned valuable skills such as storytelling will be in a better position to succeed. 

And after all, isn’t that what college sports should be all about?