WKU Athletics unveils ‘CLIMB’ program to help student-athletes build NIL brands

Jake Moore, Sports Editor

WKU Athletics announced the launch of CLIMB on Tuesday, a program designed to help Hilltopper student-athletes build and profit off of their own personal brands. The announcement comes on the heels of an executive order from Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear last Thursday that requires all Kentucky colleges allow student-athletes to profit off of their name, image and likeness (NIL).

CLIMB will give student-athletes access to INFLCR Plus, a mobile app with tools that can be used to grow a student-athlete’s social media presence, resources on how to responsibly build a brand and education materials about pursuing NIL opportunities. INFLCR also contains the Storyteller Playbook, which is composed of videos and guides from industry pros. WKU will also be providing its student-athletes with additional learning opportunities in order to enhance brand-building literacy.

“The college athletics horizon will change dramatically with the onset of Name, Image and Likeness, and I am excited to announce WKU Athletics’ comprehensive partnership with INFLCR to help us navigate this new landscape,” WKU Director of Athletics Todd Stewart said in a press release. “Our partnership with INFLCR will enable WKU student-athletes to have the content, support systems, educational resources and digital tools needed to enhance their personal brands, capitalize on new opportunities in the open marketplace and learn invaluable professional and financial literacy skills that will serve them well beyond their time on The Hill. We strive to excel in all we do while always prioritizing our student-athletes’ well-being and preparing them for life after college, and we are confident this collaboration with INFLCR will enhance our ability to achieve those goals.”

INFLCR can be used to connect student-athletes with potential ways to monetize their NIL rights. Every deal and transaction made through INFLCR will be reviewed by WKU’s compliance staff to be monitored and negotiations made outside of INFLCR will be documented as well.

“This new partnership with Western Kentucky will have a huge impact as we approach the NIL era with Hilltopper athletics fully utilizing INFLCR Verified for all teams and student-athletes,” INFLCR CEO Jim Cavale said in a press release. “Working alongside our INFLCR Plus team, the Hilltoppers will be prepared with the resources and guidance to maximize the opportunities coming very soon from NIL.”

Sports Editor Jake Moore can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @Charles_JMoore.