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Volume 26 No. 227
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College Sports Leaders Have Chance To Empower Student-Athletes

INFLCR Founder & CEO Jim Cavale, whose software platforms are used by sports properties to store, track and deliver photo and video content to their network of athletes, coaches and other brand ambassadors, called for leaders in college sports to "empower athletes -- the reason our jobs exist -- with the content they own editorially." During the keynote address dubbed "Meet The Centennials" to open Day 2 of the '19 Learfield IMG College Intercollegiate Athletics Forum, Cavale stressed INFLCR's role on athlete-driven storytelling, saying that for some athletes, the software has helped them to become more active on social, while others have benefitted by knowing what content to share. Cavale: "Social media is about authenticity. It's about storytelling. That's why it's been so successful." In the college space, Cavale said schools should be helping athletes tell stories on social media because that is the "foundation to create value opportunities" for brands. But Cavale added athletes have to be able to "build a foundation, whether it's going to be at the pro level or college level, to be able to do that." Cavale: "You have to build a foundation with your college athletic department and your athletes responsibly to have real value exist. It's your responsibility to provide content to your athletes." Cavale added during his call to action, "The athletes are asking for content, and they need it to grow their brand responsibly, so they don't make the mistakes that we don't want them to make, and they stay on brand."

NOT JUST FOR THE BEST: Cavale also addressed one school of thought that the ability to monetize name, image and likeness rights for student athletes will only impact the top 1%. He said, "Most say that it's only going to be for the Zion Williamsons, and it's only going to create a separation between those top 1% athletes and the rest." But he said the reality is "that's just not true." Cavale: "This is a collective game, and it's a 'rising tides lifts all boats' situation. It is truly a 'we' game."