Associate AD / Communication
CINCINNATI – Cincinnati Bearcats student-athletes and businesses from around the country now have a new tool that will make it easy and efficient to develop Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) agreements.
The University of Cincinnati Athletic Department and INFLCR announced the launch of the Bearcats Exchange on Wednesday. The free NIL marketplace service connects student-athletes directly with commercial enterprises, features customized NIL reporting and a communication portal to open and query student-athletes for business inquiries and NIL fulfillment.
The Bearcats Exchange is the latest NIL innovation as part of Cincinnati’s IMPACT, NIL development program that includes a partnership with Altius Sports Partners. UC is one of six athletic departments that will participate and place a full-time Altius staff member on campus as part of the new GM program to connect athletes with brands and identify brand prospects.
Businesses can register now at GoBearcats.com/Exchange. UC will select all of its student-athletes, who may withdraw if they choose not to participate.
At the same time, UC is also paving the way for co-branding with its student-athletes, meaning school logos could start appearing on NIL deals. Businesses wishing to participate in these agreements must be approved in advance by the athletic department’s trademark and licensing office. That office can be reached at GoBearcats.com/licensing.
“Businesses and UC student-athletes now have an industry-leading marketplace that will allow them to have conversations and negotiate deals.”
“The Bearcats Exchange will streamline the brand partnership processes for our student-athletes and businesses that want to get involved with UC Athletics,” Cincinnati AD John Cunningham said. “Businesses and UC student-athletes now have an industry-leading marketplace that will allow them to have conversations and negotiate deals. INFLCR is an industry leader in content, data management and NIL solutions, and we are excited to partner with them. Cincinnati Athletics has been proactive in the NIL space for over a year and we will continue to position our student-athletes to benefit and find success for what’s next in athletics of college.”
Once a business, group or individual registers with the Bearcats Exchange, they can access a searchable database of UC student athletes and filter through a variety of criteria. They can message the student-athlete directly in the app or request the student-athlete’s (or their representative’s) contact information to start a discussion about a NIL transaction. INFLCR and UC will not be parties to the negotiations.
Once a NIL agreement is completed, the compliance disclosure, which can be customized based on university regulations or state legislation, will include a payment processing tool for the business to securely pay the student-athlete. All disclosure and payment data is automatically reported to the institution’s existing INFLCR account, and any payments processed using this tool will be reported on a consolidated 1099 that lives in the student-athlete’s INFLCR application for efficient tax reporting.
INFLCR President Jim Cavale, a leading voice in the NIL, praised UC’s move. “INFLCR’s Local Exchange provides additional value to NIL with many of our existing and new customers, with Cincinnati now included,” said Cavale. “Our partners are so far ahead of the curve; I’m just humbled by the trust they’ve placed in us and our platform.”
During the 2021-2022 school year, more than 100 Cincinnati student-athletes benefited from NIL agreements and athletes from all 18 Bearcats’ sports were represented. Among the deals signed by the student-athletes were deals with Range Rover, Beats by Dre, Dr. Pepper and Skyline, which signed the entire football offensive line to a promotional deal that included a weekly commercial series.
Cincinnati’s partnership with INFLCR to create the Bearcats Exchange will create more opportunities for student-athletes to find success off the field and take advantage of their NIL.
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// ABOUT THE CINCINNATI ATHLETICS
The University of Cincinnati Athletic Department competes at the highest level of intercollegiate athletics with the vision to achieve Next level success for all 18 varsity teams and more than 500 student-athletes. The Bearcats have a proud history of athletics, winning eight national championships and 117 conference titles. The Cincinnati men’s basketball team is among the 15 winningest programs of all time, while the soccer team became the first American Athletic Conference program to compete in the College Football Playoff in 2021. Olympic gold medalist volleyball player , Jordan Thompson, NBA Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson and Major League Baseball legend Sandy Koufax are among some of the greats who have competed as Bearcats.
UC student-athletes collectively posted an overall GPA of 3.369 in the spring of 2021 with 77 percent earning spots on the Honor Roll, while six student-athletes collected CoSIDA Academic All-America accolades.
Under the leadership of Director of Athletics John Cunningham, and supported by more than 150 full-time staff members, The mission of UC Athletics is to link our community, INCREASING Our university and the impact the lives of student-athletes as they prepare to change the world on and off the field. For more information visit gobearcats.com.