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.”