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Here’s how IU Athletics is helping athletes get paid in the future

Welcome to the brave new world

Iowa v Indiana Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

On Wednesday, IU announced it had partnered with Opendorse, an athlete marketing platform. On Thursday, CQ obtained a copy of the agreement, which started Aug. 1, 2020 and will run through July 23, 2023 as part of a three-year, $75,000 contract.

It really pains the staff here to admit that Nebraska, specifically Nebraska football, did a Good Thing, as Opendorse was founded by two former Huskers football players and the university signed an agreement with the company in March.

IU has now joined the list of schools who have contracted professional help to help its athletes receive maximum compensation from their name, image and likeness.

The contract increases in value by $5,000 over each year of the deal from $20,000 in the first year to $25,000 in the second, then $30,000 in the final year. IU purchased a platform plan, worth $22,500, then added $97,500 in add-ons, but the university received a $45,000 discount for purchasing a multi-year plan, per the contract.

The platform plan includes features such as unlimited, on-demand sharing of “collections of media with individuals and groups for publishing” and content suggestions, such as recommended media, copy for the captions or the body text of a post, hashtags, and other notes.

IU’s roster of social media accounts is unlimited and the school will receive real-time data for all of its published posts.

The nearly $100,000 in add-ons that IU purchased include the Opendorse Ready Assessments and Opendorse Ready Valuations for 25 social media accounts.

Here’s what an Opendrose Ready Assessment gets you:

“Analyze any social account(s) to determine the quality of their username, display name, profile picture, and bio. Discover the first-person posts from the social account(s) that contain content that could negatively impact the account(s) brand value. Provide guidance on improving the social account(s) by updating key profile information and removing harmful posts. Deliver a detailed Report Card on the social media presence of the social account(s), compared to social account(s) of relevant peers. Share a Social Summary highlighting the top times to post content, based on time of day, day of week, type of content and platform.”

The valuation means IU will “receive an estimated post value and annual earning potential for any social account(s), based on primary data gathered from Opendorse transactions since 2012.”

Another add-on the university purchased was two, 90-minute NIL Education sessions for athletes, coaches and staff members.

Top college athletes, like the Joe Burrows of the world, could earn as much as $700,000 annually from endorsements on Instagram, according to AthleticDirectorU and Navigate Research, so a three-year deal worth $75k feels like pennies on the dollar compared to the potential endorsement revenue IU athletes could receive in the near future.

If and when Indiana basketball is ever, really, truly ~back~, it might only take an Instagram post or two for a hypothetical National Player of the Year-type men’s basketball player (or, say a Lilly King, a Kyle Schwarber, a Grant Lillard, etc.) to earn $75,000, so even in a time when athletic department budgets are being watched closely, this contract is a drop in the bucket that could make major waves in the future if IU combines the right playing and coaching talent, with the knowledge of how to navigate the new frontier of name, image and likeness endorsements.