You may have seen the big news two weeks ago about Built Brand’s decision to sponsor the entire BYU Football team, including providing tuition for all 36 walk-on players. It’s an endorsement deal that will allow every player to take advantage of new NCAA rules governing the use of a player’s Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL).
National media hail it as NIL done right, and it comes as part of BYU’s new Player Experience (PX) program, focused on helping collegiate athletes to thoughtfully take advantage of what could become sudden financial windfall, and more importantly to assist them in developing career opportunities for life after college.
The heart of the Cougar’s PX program centers on appropriate integration of NIL practices and providing direct experiential learning and internships for athletes who often do not have such opportunities due to rigorous schedules and intense demands — even outside the classroom and off the field of play. As they say, most collegiate athletes will go pro in something, but very few in their chosen sport.
One lament uttered so often as to become cliché is related to athletes who were given a five-year golden opportunity at a world-class university but were unable to translate that gift into a profession beyond those that were available in the communities where they lived before college.
The Salt Lake Chamber is honored to be a part of the BYU PX program, as a founding member of the university’s Built4Life initiative. Businesses in Utah operate within an enviable business climate in part because our universities — second to none — educate and pipeline talent into our workforce. The sooner those students can integrate into challenging professions as interns the better for both parties, particularly as the student builds a foundation of confidence and experience that elevates vision, ability, and future opportunities. Built4Life works with businesses throughout Utah to match student athletes with employers who can accommodate their unique needs.
Built4Life provides mentorship opportunities, seminars in personal development, and soft skills critical to the workplace — from professional dress to effective communication and personal responsibility.
If you or your business are interested in learning more about Built4Life and BYU’s innovative PX Program, information can be found at byubuilt4life.org. You can also watch athletic director Tom Homoe describe the four pillars of the program, to “Learn, Work, Brand, and Love” in this important and innovative partnership.
The Salt Lake Chamber is always pleased to be involved with innovative programs that support business, educate the workforce, and elevate opportunities for Utahns everywhere. The NCAA NIL regulations are new, and we know that soon our Utes, Aggies, Wildcats, Wolverines, Thunderbirds, and others will be introducing programs of their own. As they do, we look forward to providing business community support to them, as well. Most importantly, we will share those programs with you to keep Utah’s economy and businesses second to none.