Social Partnerships Thrive Despite Financial Woes

    • While departments slash teams, they’ve continued to invest in one specific expense: enhancing athletes’ social media content.
    • Departments know fans want social content, and athletes want to attract more followers in preparation to monetize NIL.

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While departments slash teams, they’ve continued to invest in one specific expense: enhancing athletes’ social media content.

“It can be tedious to find dollars to invest in technology,” Neeta Sreekanth, INFLCR’s chief operating officer, told FOS. But programs and conferences like DePaul and the West Coast Conference have recently signed partnerships with INFLCR, a company that helps athletes boost their social media presence. 

Departments know fans want social content, and athletes want to attract more followers in preparation to monetize NIL.

NIL Can’t Be Stopped

The NCAA’s recent postponement of its vote on uniform NIL regulations doesn’t concern Sreekanth. The company will make minor adjustments when legislation is passed, she said. 

“We’ve always built INFLCR on the thinking that NIL legislation is a matter of when, not if,” Sreekanth said. 

In fact, while some other executives in the NIL marketplace have criticized the postponement, Sreekanth said she personally understands it. “I think the more that they have constructed debate and conversation, the more strengthened the rule can be,” she said.

Part of Pivot to Digital 

Departments are using companies like INFLCR to capitalize on the fact that fans want to hear straight from athletes, Sreekanth said.

“I think what we’re seeing is a rotation into the creator economy,” Sreekanth said. 

Partnerships like these aren’t just providing recruiting advantages for athletes who are looking to monetize their NIL — they’re part of a survival strategy to keep the content for athletes and departments relevant.

In the months ahead, INFLCR will evaluate what kind of content has remained popular among pandemic-weary fans, Sreekanth said.