TUCSON, Ariz. – The University of Arizona Athletics Department is building on its commitment to develop student-athletes for life on campus and beyond. The department has created its “Arizona Edge” program to educate, inform and assist student-athletes in developing their Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) as part of the NCAA’s enactment of NIL legislation in 2021.
Arizona’s Edge program will focus on personal brand management, business development, financial literacy, networking and legal information to optimize the decision-making process and enhance NIL opportunities. The athletics department has created its NIL program in partnership with the University of Arizona’s prestigious Eller College of Management, which ranked among the top programs in the nation in business, management, marketing and entrepreneurship according to the U.S. News & World Report 2020-21 rankings.
“Our mission centers around serving student-athletes and providing opportunities for them to become academic, athletic and life champions, “said Vice President and Director of Athletics Dave Heeke. “Establishing new and impactful programming around NIL is a key addition to how we continue to support our student-athletes while they are on campus and prepare them to be successful for life beyond the University of Arizona.”
Programming will be created by industry professionals, campus partners and Arizona Athletics staff and will include a comprehensive package of educational meetings, workshops and mentoring opportunities. This new voluntary resource will be available to all student-athletes and continue much of Arizona Athletics’ existing programming on these areas of focus that have been a staple of the department’s longstanding Commitment to an Athletes Total Success (C.A.T.S). Most recently as part of that commitment, Arizona Athletics began a partnership with INFLCR to help student-athletes grow their brand through social media content.
Student-athletes will receive this newly-established programming through a pair of collaborative subgroups made up of staff members and campus partners from throughout Arizona Athletics and the University of Arizona as well as national and local experts.
Arizona Wildcats on the Arizona Edge program
Arizona Head Baseball Coach Jay Johnson
"I am very excited about the opportunity for our student-athletes to be able to use their NIL to create value for themselves. They have a unique opportunity at Arizona to be able to do that with the great combination of visibility they have as a player in our program, the great fan support we have, and the enthusiasm for baseball that exists here in Tucson. I think we have one of the best platforms in the country for players to benefit from this new legislation, and it will benefit our players tremendously as they move through our program."
Arizona Football Student-Athlete Dion "Tank" Wilson Jr.
"Here at Arizona, the platform and the help we are given is amazing. Having the chance to be a part of something bigger than myself is important. Arizona Athletics creating the Arizona Edge program to assist student-athletes with their NIL is exciting and a big part of development for myself and other student-athletes. Our fan base, the environment of Tucson and Arizona Athletics are dedicated to development, and that creates endless opportunities for student-athletes to be successful. Since I have arrived on campus, Arizona Athletics has continuously showed they want their student-athletes to have a bright future in the long run."
Arizona Women's Basketball Student-Athlete Sam Thomas
"I am thankful our athletic department is committed to assisting my fellow student-athletes and me on and off the court. Arizona Athletics has been preparing me for life after basketball ever since I got to campus, and the Arizona Edge program is another example of that. I'm looking forward to working with our staff and developing my name, image and likeness."