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Inside the New Playbook: April 1 Panel On Brand Partnerships for Athletes
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Join experts in marketing, sports and business who will discuss “Branding and Brand Partnerships for Athletes: A New Initiative in the Era of Name, Image and Likeness Legislation” on Friday, April 1.

Recent changes in legislation have allowed student-athletes to maximize the financial opportunities of their name, image, and likeness (NIL). In response, Pitt Athletics created Forged Here, a student-athlete-centered NIL support program in 2021. It encompasses a unique educational partnership at Pitt between the nationally renowned Cathy and John Pelusi Family Life Skills Program, the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Center for Branding at the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business.

The Center and Pitt Business Alumni Relations, in collaboration with Pitt’s Athletics Department and Cloud9 Esports, Inc., invites the University community and public to a panel discussion:

  • Date and Time: Friday, April 1, 2022; Noon to 1:15 p.m.
  • Location: 3950 Vera and Roberto Clemente Drive, Mervis Hall, Room 118E or Virtual
  • Keynote Speaker: Vanitha Swaminathan, Thomas Marshall Professor of Marketing and Director of the Center for Branding
  • Panelists: Chris Hoppe, Executive Associate Athletic Director, Pitt; Ryan Mitchell, Associate Athletic Director, Pitt; Gregory Via, Head of Partnerships, Cloud9 Esports, Inc.; and others to be announced.

This is a free event. To attend in-person or virtually, please use this link to register.

“The panel discussion will appeal to anyone interested in the fields of marketing, sports and business as it spotlights the growing trend towards the use of social influencers in business, the financial implications of endorsements and the growing importance of social media as a tool for brand-building,” Dr. Swaminathan said.

Forged Here provides a comprehensive, campus-wide approach to empowering the Pitt student-athlete population via unmatched access to local and national experts. Pitt’s approach to the new NIL landscape allows student-athletes to educate themselves on how best to maximize their brand and market value during their time as a student-athlete and beyond.