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by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Katrina McClain, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.

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University of Houston Athletics Launches LIFTOFF to Prepare Athletes for NIL Changes

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POSTED: June 28, 2021 -- 2:32 p.m. CT

Monday afternoon, the University of Houston Athletics Department announced the launch of LIFTOFF, powered by the C. T. Bauer College of Business and Opendorse, to assist in its Name, Image and Likeness program for student-athletes.

LIFTOFF's mission will be to serve Houston student-athletes with focused educational training on NIL rules, to lift their personal brands during their collegiate careers and to launch their post-graduate opportunities into the future.

The comprehensive partnership and its resources will be available to all Houston student-athletes and is designed to positively impact student-athlete branding, education and storytelling.

UH will partner with the C. T. Bauer College of Business to utilize on-campus experts in entrepreneurship, business practices, financial management and personal branding.

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Bauer College is home to the Cyvia and Melvyn Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship, ranked No. 1 in the U.S. on The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur's list of Top 50 Best Undergrad Programs for Entrepreneurs in 2021 (Top 10 since 2007; No. 1 in 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2020).

Through LIFTOFF, UH student-athletes will have access to Opendorse Ready, the market-leading education platform on NIL. With Ready, Houston will provide student-athletes with custom brand value assessments, live consultation sessions with industry leaders and on-demand access to the NIL Masterclass, an education series featuring experts on brand building, monetization and financial literacy from leading brands including Instagram, Twitter, the Players' Tribune and Overtime.

UH student-athletes will continue to be equipped with Opendorse Social, the content sharing platform that has been utilized by the Athletics Department since 2019. Since becoming an Opendorse Social partner, UH student-athletes have downloaded nearly 10,000 pieces of on-demand, high-quality photo and video content for their social media channels.

UH will also use Opendorse Monitor to allow student-athletes a seamless option to disclose deals and monitor activity through an all-inclusive compliance dashboard. Opendorse Monitor is the compliance product athletes use to protect their brand. With Monitor, athletes can seamlessly disclose activities to simplify compliance and safeguard eligibility. Institutions are able to evaluate transactions and protect their interests.

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