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A historic first in collegiate sports occurred last week when Aquinas College volleyball player Chloe Mitchell became the first collegiate athlete to capitalize off of NAIA NIL legislation. She created this sponsored social post where she identified herself as a student and volleyball player at AQ:
Thanks to the passing of NAIA NIL legislation last October, Chloe will encounter ZERO eligibility problems with this post. Mitchell is a social influencer with the largest following of ANY collegiate athlete (2.6 million TikTok, 26k Instagram, 5.4K YouTube), and also happens to be a co-founder of PlayBooked.
PlayBooked, an online platform and app, hired Mitchell, a setter for the Michigan-based Aquinas College volleyball team and a verified social media influencer, to promote sporting goods in a social post where she identified as an Aquinas volleyball player. Mitchell further sets a collegiate sports precedent in that she is also a co-founder of PlayBooked, a role she was able to take on since the passing of NAIA NIL legislation in October.
PlayBooked will be the one-stop platform where college athletes engage with fans, brands and small businesses with one-click-of-a-button and athletes get paid. Currently in beta, PlayBooked was tracking to launch in summer 2021 in conjunction with the projected passing of NCAA legislation.
"When the NAIA beat the NCAA to the punch, it played in our favor as Chloe, one of our co-founders, is also a NAIA athlete with millions of followers on social media," says Playbooked President Ken Konecki. "We knew the time was right to soft launch and make history!"
PlayBooked will allow every level of college athlete to monetize their network by connecting them to brands for sponsorship opportunities, engaging directly with fans via purchased video chats, booking personal appearances, and so much more. Created for enterprising athletes, PlayBooked is for those who want to monetize their social network, personal brand, and/or launch their own business venture.
"I'm grateful to NAIA for paving the way for me to be the first!" says Mitchell. "We created PlayBooked for the athlete to have control over their own NIL rights. The platform works like a social marketplace that connects athletes with their fans and brands and athletes get paid. I know all about what it means to build a brand. Mine is DIY. When the NCAA follows suit next year, all collegiate athletes can DIY their NIL rights on PlayBooked. Until then, NAIA athletes will lead the pack!"
On October 7, the NAIA became the first college sports organization to pass name, image and likeness legislation. The NAIA governs small athletic programs across the country, sponsoring 27 national championships for more than 77,000 student athletes. The new legislation allows NAIA student athletes to earn compensation for promoting commercial products, enterprises or for public or media appearances.
Both the NAIA and Aquinas College are delighted with these historic developments for collegiate athletes and specifically Mitchell's accomplishments as an entrepreneur.
"We are happy to see our student-athletes benefiting from our recent passage of the name, image and likeness legislation," said NAIA President and CEO Jim Carr. "In the age of social media, we are hopeful that many more can take full advantage of their personal brand while competing in the NAIA."
"Aquinas College supported our student-athletes with the NAIA by approving legislation related to name, image and likeness," said Aquinas College Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Athletics Nick Davidson. "Part of why students choose Aquinas is the personal attention and care that they receive to pursue their goals. We are excited to support Chloe as she blazes her own trail as a student-athlete and entrepreneur."
Two companies, Bloodline Golf and Delta Putt, utilized PlayBooked to book Chloe Mitchell for this precedent-setting endorsement.
"We were looking for a fresh face in the college arena and with the new legislation we landed on Chloe Mitchell through recommendations from our marketing department," said Larry Bischmann, co-founder of Bloodline Golf.
"We heard about this new platform that works with college athletes and we wanted to get on board right out of the gate," said CMO of Delta Putt, John Rider. "Who knew we would be making history!"
PlayBooked's comprehensive board of advisors includes business, athletic and social influencers including NBA veteran Anthony Tolliver (Creighton University), Super Bowl Champion Walter Thurmond III (Oregon), Avery Johnson Jr. (Alabama) from AJ Management, Quenton Brown (Central Florida University) of Brown Agency Group and retired Pro Volleyball Player Albert Hannemann (UCLA) and Greg Oden, former NBA #1 overall pick of 2007 (Ohio St.)
"PlayBooked is here for the athlete," Mitchell says. "We want to build meaningful relationships with college athletes and have many ideas how we can work together throughout their college journey and beyond. I remembered watching the Nike commercials where they said 'Just Do It.' PlayBooked takes that idea a step further by arming collegiate athletes with an app to 'Just Do It Yourself' when it comes to NIL rights."
PlayBooked is a platform/app that connects fans, brands and small businesses to athletes, and athletes GET PAID. Athletes simply set up their profile and preferences within the PlayBooked app. They can opt to do video messages and/or paid appearances and then seamlessly review each fan, brand or business request - right from their phone. Once the request is complete, they get paid - in real time. Brands and businesses can commission athletes to do video messages that speak specific promotion or initiative details that can be also be leveraged on all social media channels. Fans can set up their preferences and purchase a personalized message from their favorite athletes or schedule a face to face meeting.
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