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Runza to offer deals to student-athletes as NIL laws change

Published: Jun. 30, 2021 at 2:03 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Starting July 1, college athletes in Nebraska will be able to profit off of their name, image and likeness. This includes branding themselves on social media or trying to start up their own business. Runza will likely be the first business to get directly involved with endorsing college athletes by offering deals to 100 current athletes.

The program will be available to student-athletes in any sport attending any college or university in Nebraska and will provide immediate, equal access to compliant payment opportunities for those who opt-in to Opendorse Deals to receive their deal and promote the Runza Rewards app to their followers on social media.

“This a new and exciting era of college sports,” said Becky Perrett, Director of Marketing. “Runza has a long history of partnering with area colleges and universities for athletics sponsorships, and now, changes to the name, image and likeness policy allow our brand to directly support student-athletes. With Opendorse, we’re able to connect with these athletes and operate the campaign from pitch to payment in one compliant platform, making it scalable for us, and simple for the student-athlete.”

Through the Opendorse platform, Runza will pitch the deal to the first 100 Nebraska college or university student-athletes who opt-in to Opendorse Deals beginning July 1. As an initial offer, student-athletes will receive payment for promoting the Runza Rewards app on social media. Performance pending, Runza plans to use the platform for future product promotions and fan engagement.

“Runza® is a part of Nebraska sports culture,” said Opendorse CEO Blake Lawrence. “The brand has been a staple of the college sports experience across the state for years. This campaign builds on that history – Runza becomes the first regional brand to commit to supporting student-athletes in Nebraska at scale. I’m proud that we can provide the marketplace that makes this long-time goal a reality.”

The NCAA Division 1 Board of Directors is expected to sign off on a temporary NIL law policy Wednesday.

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