NEW YORK: Athlete marketing platform Opendorse has chosen MikeWorldWide to lead its communications strategy.
Opendorse's contract with the agency, formerly known as MWW, is ongoing through the calendar year, said MWW president Bret Werner, who did not disclose the contract's dollar value.
MWW will lead an integrated comms program and focus on communications strategy centered on media relations and executive leadership. The goal is to frame Opendorse as the preferred athlete-marketing platform.
The topic has been top-of-mind over the last year as the NCAA restrictions on student athletes profiting from their name, image and likeness have been lifted. Last week, the Supreme Court ruled against the NCAA’s cap on student-athlete compensation, which presented MWW with its first big endeavor working with the company, with more than 1,500 deals sent to student athletes on the first day, according to Opendorse cofounder and CEO Blake Lawrence.
Opendorse works with student athletes to educate them on their reputation and how to find opportunities to partner with brands.
"This generation of student athletes has been preparing for name, image and likeness monetization, whether they knew it or not," Lawrence said. "They grew up on social media building large audiences and marketing themselves through Twitter, TikTok, Snapchat and Instagram so now that they can turn on monetization and find ways to connect with brands and fans, it's actually pretty natural."
There was no formal RFP process. Instead, the partnership came after almost eight years of friendship between Lawrence and Werner. When it came time for Lawrence to find and retain an agency to help Opendorse prepare for the name, image and likeness era, there was only one person he wanted to call, said Lawrence.
"It's go time, and the ability to get up and go quickly to get on top of these major announcements and industry-changing opportunities has proven to be worth the wait," Lawrence said.
Along with Werner, senior account director Tyler DePina will lead MWW's team of four on the account and work closely with Opendorse head of comms Sam Weber.