Friday, October 1, 2021

Wichita-based 6th Man Strategies reaches deal to represent all 18 Kansas men’s basketball players in NIL endeavors

Kansas forward David McCormack (33) throws a chest bump to Kansas guard Ochai Agbaji (30) after a dunk during the second half on Friday, Dec. 11, 2020 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward David McCormack (33) throws a chest bump to Kansas guard Ochai Agbaji (30) after a dunk during the second half on Friday, Dec. 11, 2020 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Wichita-based company, 6th Man Strategies, LLC, has reached a deal to represent all 18 Kansas men’s basketball players in their name, image and likeness, the company announced on Friday morning.

A news release announcing the deal indicates that the company has "plans to engage the additional 500-plus student-athletes at Kansas," as well.

According to the release, 6th Man Strategies, a non-affiliate of Kansas Athletics, will help KU's student-athletes manage areas such as personal branding, sales resources, public relations, tax strategy, legal and business advising.

The company has partnered with Opendorse, the NIL market’s leading compliance and monetization platform, to streamline the student-athlete’s NIL activities.

“It’s no secret that KU basketball players are among the most marketable in all of college sports,” said Opendorse CEO Blake Lawrence. “It's exciting that 6th Man Strategies is offering their representation to every KU student-athlete, to help all athletes maximize their NIL opportunities.

The partnership between 6th Man, Opendorse and KU's student-athletes will run in conjunction with KU's on-campus program known as Jayhawks Ascend, which provides support and guidance for KU's student-athletes in those areas and several others.

According to the release, Opendorse technology will allow 6th Man Strategies to seamlessly deliver opportunities to student-athletes that will allow them to review, accept, complete and disclose all NIL activities from pitch to payment straight from their phones.

"Opendorse is dedicated to supporting Kansas athletes in this rapidly evolving NIL market with a purpose-built technology to help them capitalize on this moment and remain safe through the journey," Lawrence added.

In the next week, 6th Man Strategies will be announcing a partnership with an officially licensed merchandise provider that will serve both the brands these athletes have created alongside the institutional brand they represent.

“The strength of the Jayhawk brand is one of the most recognizable marks in the entire world," said Matt Baty, a former Kansas baseball player and Kansas Athletics employee who is now a partner in 6th Man Strategies. "For the first time, by partnering with an official licensed merchandise provider, we can unite the two brands officially and athletes can be compensated for it."

6th Man Strategies boasts a focus on student-athlete programs in social media, player appearances, memorabilia, merchandise, NFT technologies and corporate endorsements. The company also will emphasize programing for KU fans to engage with players through crowd-funding strategies, VIP events and various raffles.

“Kansas athletes are important to our alumni, university and state.” said Ryan Baty, former Kansas baseball All-American and partner in 6th Man Strategies. “It is vitally important that Kansas student-athletes are provided with NIL opportunities to enhance their brand and marketing platforms to benefit them financially.”


Dirk Medema 1 year ago

Only a matter of time before others start benefiting, but good to see the full support both in management and representation. Nice that it’s a former student-athlete.

Rodney Crain 1 year ago

What is 6th Man Strategies cut? 10 to 20% of the athlete's endorsement contract is the range in the pros. Can any athlete refuse this arrangement and use whoever they want, or are they tied to 6th Man? Does 6th man provide legal representation if there are legal issues? Advising someone does not sound like representation.

Opendorse HQ is in Lincoln NE. They have 50,000 athletes and only 1000 agents. How does Opendorse standard 30% transaction fee work for the buyer? Opendorse is free for athletes, who is paying this 30%? Did anyone look at Greenfly? Greenfly offers more capabilities and services at a lower cost than Opendorse for NIL. Way better metadata support too.

Did anyone look at Teamwork/INFLCR the leader in this field?

How did 6th man reach a deal with all 18 Mens BB players? Mens basketball was the biggest barginning chip, why not tie in Womens BB, Womens Volleyball, Track.

"Plans to engage" means very little. Should have tied in more athletes for this upfront with your biggest chip.

As an aside, what happens when an athlete portals out of KU on his own advice, but has local NIL deals? Can the local Vendor sue the athlete to recover abandonment of the deal?

Jeff Coffman 12 months ago

Wasn't it a few years ago that if an Adidas representative paid your players with zero knowledge from the University, that it would end up getting you a NCAA it is just part of the industry.

That IARP is going to have a harder and harder time convicting KU for something that they shouldn't have had issues for already.

Rodney Schulz 11 months, 4 weeks ago

Hey, the men’s basketball players and all the athletes are adults now. Let them fend for themselves and seek out the deal that is best for them. If someone takes advantage of them, that is their problem, not mine.

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