DENVER (CBS4) – A Colorado company is hoping to be the leading source of connecting student-athletes with brands as the new frontier of college players being able to profit off their name, image, and likeness.
“It’s so exciting to see the pent-up excitement that brands have had to finally work with college athletes to create so much influence in their in their local communities,” said Chase Garrett the CEO of Icon Source.
Garrett has experience with action sports and set up Icon Source in Denver a few years ago as a way to connect professional athletes with brands looking to hire promoters. The company is simply adding student-athletes to the platform.
“Brands can search them and find them based off their sport, ethnicity, gender, likes, interests, location, their school, their conference. Find the right athlete that would really make sense for whatever brand marketing campaign. Either a large national brand, like Boost Mobile and Microsoft to really local brands like restaurants, car dealerships, and banks,” Garrett says. “our platform can turn that into a contract that will protect the athlete’s college eligibility, it will ensure payment, and make sure that the brand’s deliverables are set in stone.”
There aren’t many rules now that the NCAA’s amateurism statute has been rescinded. But Icon Source is set up to meet some guidelines.
“When a brand wants to work with an athlete, that athlete has to take that opportunity or that contract to their compliance office to disclose what this is. Our platform integrates automatically to the compliance offices at all of the universities.”
It’s predicted that in one day $1 million were given out to student-athletes. But some of the biggest deals weren’t for star basketball or football players as anticipated. Icon Source took out an ad in Times Square and showcased twin sisters who play basketball for Fresno State.
“Now they’ve created an incredible influence through over 3 million TikTok followers. And in companies like Boost (Mobile) want to jump on that credibility where they’re talking to these people.” Garrett said. “Athletes need to be careful about protecting their brand. And I think making sure that you have the right guardrails in place to make sure you get paid. To make sure these brands are valid, and that they stand for the same things. That’s why we want that real-time communication. Hopefully, we can build authentic relationships at scale quickly.”