Kenny Pickett (BSBA ’20) gives his all on and off the field
and Community Asset
// Alumni Feature
Record-setting Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett, a 2020 College of Business Administration graduate, was chosen as the first quarterback in the 2022 NFL Draft with the selection by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Pickett, who has an undergraduate degree in marketing and was pursuing his master’s degree in the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business before the draft, has been a leader on the football field and in the community. The quarterback led the Panthers to the 2021 Atlantic Coast Conference Football Championship, became Pitt’s first ACC Athlete of the Year winner, and was a finalist for the national Senior CLASS Award, which encourages student-athletes to use their platform to make a positive impact in communities.
Catalysts for Change
Pickett’s approach reflects the Pitt Business mission: We prepare our students to take business beyond the classroom and be catalysts for change. He is joining with other students and alumni who find creative ways, large and small, to help others and improve society.
“In Kenny Pickett, the Steelers are not only getting a tremendous quarterback, but also one of the finest leaders and toughest competitors I’ve ever been around,” Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi says. “Beyond the field, Kenny is already such a wonderful asset for the Pittsburgh community.
He greatly values the importance of giving back as he showed with his NIL efforts. This is just a huge victory for the Steelers and Pitt.”
The NCAA’s new name, image, and likeness (NIL) policy has enabled student-athletes to pursue sponsorships and, for some, to give back in the community. Pitt’s Athletic Department introduced “Forged Here,” in collaboration with the Center for Branding at Katz and other partners, to equip student-athletes with the knowledge and resources necessary to maximize their brand and platform.
“Beyond the field, Kenny is already such a wonderful asset for the Pittsburgh community. He greatly values the importance of giving back.”
Pickett’s NIL partnerships included collaboration with a trucking company and an apparel company to produce “Pickett’s Partners” t-shirts. All proceeds are given to another partner — the Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania. Growing up in New Jersey, he spent many days at one of the nonprofit’s locations. In Pittsburgh, he visited summer day campers and distributed t-shirts to the starstruck children.