Texas Athletics to help student-athletes LEVERAGE their platform
Published 9:33 pm Monday, August 31, 2020
AUSTIN, Texas – Utilizing one of the most influential brands in American sports, Texas Athletics is launching LEVERAGE, an innovative name, image and likeness program designed to equip Longhorn student-athletes with the knowledge and tools necessary to maximize their brand and platform.
“Texas is a land of opportunity, Austin is a thriving, dynamic and energetic city right in the middle of it, and The University of Texas is like none other,” said UT Vice President and Athletics Director Chris Del Conte. “All of those factors, along with the national and worldwide power of the Longhorn brand are among the many things that will be key elements in our exciting new LEVERAGE program. The program is designed to prepare, enhance and play a critical role in our student-athletes developing and growing their personal brands.”
“From the Longhorns’ daily local, regional and national media coverage in five of the nation’s largest cities (Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio), to the expansive reach of our social media platforms and our very own one-of-a-kind Longhorn Network partnership with ESPN, there’s just no better place to be. Whether it’s national award recognition, sharing your personal and team success stories, or establishing a tremendous network of mentors in the community and beyond, the LEVERAGE program will position student-athletes to be presented in the best light by a premier group of folks in the world of creativity, communications and student-athlete development.”
LEVERAGE, which is part of the new the new 4EVER TEXAS program, is composed of four main areas of focus: Personal Branding & Brand Management, Business Formation & Entrepreneurship, Opportunity Management and Financial Literacy.
In the ever-evolving college sports landscape, student-athletes are more interested than ever in advancing their personal brand and setting themselves up for a successful future. With unmatched brand identity and unrivaled campus resources, Texas Athletics is well-equipped to offer its student-athletes that opportunity.
“When it comes to exposure, visibility, valuable connections and a broad and far-reaching network, Texas has all of that,” said Texas Football head coach Tom Herman. “With the NIL opportunities coming in the near future, the establishment of the LEVERAGE program is a personal development area where we will provide unmatched resources when it comes to building our players’ brands. The people they will meet, opportunities at their disposal and the resources our first-class Football and Athletics programs will provide are second to none, and this program is just another great reason to be a Texas Longhorn.”
The University of Texas is uniquely located in one of the nation’s top-ranked cities to live and work. A hotbed for technology and startups, student-athletes at UT have limitless access to business opportunities, just by being part of the Austin, Texas community.
With a strong emphasis on social media, Texas Athletics has cultivated one of the most powerful presences in college athletics. The Longhorns lead all of collegiate athletics in Twitter interactions and have one of the top Facebook followings with an audience of over 1.5 million. Texas has experienced extreme growth on Instagram since 2018, with more than 160,000 new followers for a 167% increase. The Texas Football Instagram has grown by nearly 200,000 followers during that same span, a 155% increase.
“The athletes we’re recruiting have had their hands on these social platforms almost their whole lives,” Texas Women’s Swimming & Diving head coach Carol Capitani said. “LEVERAGE provides an opportunity for them to learn and advance their personal brands in a way that’s true to them, while building off the social presence they’ve already cultivated. There is no athletic department better positioned to handle NIL needs than Texas, and I’m grateful for all the first-class resources that our student-athletes have available to them.”
With a footprint that includes five of the nation’s 15 largest cities, Longhorn student-athletes are exposed to more local and national media coverage than any other athletes in the country. The presence of Longhorn Network, the only national television network with dedicated 24/7 coverage to a single university, sets UT apart from all of its counterparts.
The powerful UT alumni network of more than 500,000 members around the world provides extraordinary opportunity for Longhorn student-athletes to connect with business leaders and influential community members.
“The University of Texas is unmatched across the country in terms of combining a passionate fanbase, top-notch academics, elite competition and providing resources to student-athletes in their pursuit of success,” Texas Track & Field head coach Edrick Floreal said. “Now, with LEVERAGE, we are taking the next step in supporting our student-athletes and preparing them for success outside of athletics. There is no better place for a student-athlete to build themselves, both on and off the track, than at UT.”
As part of the 4EVER TEXAS program, LEVERAGE will serve as an innovative resource to help prepare student-athletes for lifelong success. The LEVERAGE program will provide specific curriculum around areas of financial literacy such as, wealth management, assessing financial risks, taxes, and making business decisions.