Purdue Launches Brand Development Program

Inside INdiana Business is reporting that Purdue University Athletics is launching a program designed to give student-athletes the resources they need to develop and grow their own personal brands. The department is partnering with the Krannert School of Management and Alabama-based INFLCR Inc. to create EMPOWER, which the university says will bring all of its student-athlete development programs under one umbrella. Purdue Director of Athletics Mike Bobinski says it is important that student-athletes are educated as Name, Image and Likeness become a reality.

EMPOWER is designed to support student-athlete development through three key areas: “education, entrusting them with resources, and entrepreneurship opportunities.”

“My hope is that our comprehensive EMPOWER student-athlete development platform will provide tools and resources that will benefit our student-athletes in tangible ways during their time with us at Purdue, but will also serve as a springboard to success when transitioning to the next chapter of their personal and professional lives,” Bobinski said in a news release.

Purdue says the education portion will focus on social media and branding, as well as opportunities for leadership, community engagement, career advancement and professional development. It will also include what the university calls a first-of-its kind, three-credit class in the Krannert School known as “Optimizing Personal Brand and Image.”

“Many of our most successful alumni have been student-athletes at Purdue, making this partnership a natural fit for the school,” said David Hummels, dean of the Krannert School. “With a focus on personal branding, social and digital media strategies, financial literacy and philanthropy, the course we’ve developed will prepare students to cultivate, maximize and monetize their personal brands, giving them an advantage over their peers.”

The “entrust” portion will give students access to INFLCR’s programs, which Purdue says will help them serve as storytellers to build and expand their brand, and “to enable them to share using their authentic voice.” The university says the program will also help student-athletes stay in compliance when dealing with NIL transactions.

The entrepreneurship portion of the program is designed to help students become innovators and entrepreneurs through promotion of their personal brands.

“We believe in empowering our student-athletes so they are positioned for success,” said Tom Mitchell, associate director for compliance at Purdue. “We also have a track record of fighting for student-athletes to pursue their passions as it relates to NIL. EMPOWER is just the next evolution in what we can offer Boilermakers for their student-athlete experience.”