UK Athletics affirms commitment to student-athletes across Kentucky Road
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Athletics Department at the University of Kentucky has stepped up its commitment to providing the best experiences and opportunities for student-athletes through The Kentucky Highway, which describes the unparalleled developmental experience offered to student-athletes during their time as Wildcats.
Now anticipating upcoming legislation allowing name, image and likeness benefits, the Kentucky Athletic Director Mitch barnhart redouble its efforts to prioritize student-athletes. UK Athletics builds on its premier suite of varsity sport benefits, providing opportunities to enhance the personal brand of every student-athlete.
The benefits include, but are not limited to:
- Provide state-of-the-art support for leveraging individual social media presence through education, opportunities, and data-driven insight.
- Scholarships extended until obtaining a baccalaureate.
- Financial education.
Kentucky Road’s enhanced suite of benefits specifically for UK student-athletes will be curated by bringing together the resources available through the University of Kentucky’s world-class academic and student development professionals alongside top external vendors. .
Kentucky Athletics has a proven track record of expanding financial opportunities for student-athletes after their playing days in the UK, whether that is helping athletes excel in the world’s top professional sports leagues, scholarships post-eligibility study and networking opportunities, job placement programs and lucrative touring opportunities where Kentucky alumni interact with the best fans of college sports: the Big Blue Nation.
“We strongly believe in the transformative power of the varsity sport experience,” said the director of athletics. Mitch barnhart mentionned. “We also believe it is our responsibility to tailor this experience to meet the needs of young people to enable them to achieve their dreams. By taking The Kentucky Road for four years, our student-athletes will receive the tools and experiences they need. We have to prepare for the next 40 years. “
The Kentucky Road program will continue to position student-athletes for personal and professional growth outside of classrooms and athletic facilities.
The UK will build on existing innovations, such as prioritizing the delivery of engaging multimedia content first to student-athletes straight to their smartphones. The UK will also continue to improve hands-on training aimed at maximizing personal brand leverage in addition to business and financial literacy programs.
“I have been fortunate that the UK has been open with me since I arrived on campus to enhance my experience and provide me with the content and education needed to grow my brand,” two-time Rhyne, basketball player Southeastern Conference Women’s Ball of the Year. Howard said. “In addition to the media and brand training sessions, we are constantly receiving digital content before and after games to share. They also developed and solicited my contribution to create and maintain RhyneHoward.com and the #CrownHer campaign to increase my visibility.
“Our program also has its own Creative Director and she has given me feedback on some logo work and other brand assets that I have worked on as a digital media and design specialist. excited to see how we’re creating even more opportunity this year through The Kentucky Highway. “
Benefits for current student-athletes
Brand protection, improvement and engagement
Kentucky has been an industry leader in partnering with content distribution platforms INFLCR and OpenDorse, each having been instrumental in providing influential student-athletes, coaches, staff and alumni with direct access to photos and videos. The UK has also maintained relationships with partners on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok, all of which provide UK student-athletes with access to industry innovations and information.
For years, the Kentucky Brand and Content division has adopted a “student-athletes first” strategy that prioritizes delivering content to the best messengers in the University: student-athletes, and then amplifying their skills. voice through department and team accounts.
“I think it was very important to have photos and videos sent to your phone right after the games and it was very convenient for us to post more and grow our brands,” said Tyler Herro, now with the Miami Heat of the NBA, on UK Athletics. partnership with the INFLCR.
Kentucky student-athletes enjoy unprecedented opportunities that come with competing on one of the greatest venues in varsity athletics. Wildcats has added hundreds of millions of subscribers on personal social media accounts. In 2020, Kentucky’s athletic social media generated over a billion impressions, while team and individual accounts generated millions of engagements.
“For people who only see us with a face mask and shoulder pads, there’s more to that. There’s more to that when we take that off, when we’re home, we do what we love to do.” , said Kash Daniel, a former Kentucky football student. “Being more than an athlete and letting people know that to make them see that ‘hey, it’s not just a soccer player’ you know that really means a lot to me.”
The UK is well positioned to provide enhanced support for student-athletes to benefit even more from their personal brands through data-informed insight and strategic thinking.
“Kentucky’s track staff and partnerships with platforms like the INFLCR have helped my social media a lot,” said PJ Washington, now star forward for the NBA Charlotte Hornets. “The content was just ready for me and I can send it to whoever I want, post it wherever I want and say whatever I want so it was really a useful tool.”
In 2019, Kentucky partnered with Empower3d and Michael Haddix to design a tiered curriculum to prepare student-athletes for future aspirations ranging from practicing professional sports to entering the workforce. . The first such program in the country, the Kentucky Road Financial Education Initiative’s innovative program is designed to empower students to understand finance through gamification, real-world scenarios and competition. In addition to educating the Wildcats on the basics of personal finance, participants learned how to start networking effectively with the invaluable connections presented to them in Kentucky and how to better prepare for their next stage in life using the tools. available to their advantage.
“During my time in Kentucky, we had access to unparalleled resources,” said Leah Edmond, All-America and two-time SEC Volleyball Player of the Year. “Whether it’s college studies, financial education, media content, or simply accessing relationship assets in a multitude of fields, The Kentucky Road has truly transformed my career on and off the pitch. “
Benefits for former student-athletes
“The Kentucky Road” is the UK’s holistic approach to delivering on its promise of a world-class student-athlete experience. As part of this experience, student-athletes who leave the university in good standing will receive a scholarship matching the amount of their athletics scholarship for tuition and fees until they have obtained a British Baccalaureate. .
As the number of student-athletes leaving the UK for opportunities in professional athletics increases, UK Athletics stands ready to meet the academic needs of these students once their athletic careers have ended.
The Kentucky Road Row House is TheKentuckyRoad.com, a one-of-a-kind digital platform that inspires aspiring student-athletes to visualize their future in the UK. This future includes a set of opportunities that will challenge them to become leaders prepared for a lifetime of success, both during and after college. The Kentucky Road digital platform illustrates this through story-driven multimedia content and an interactive roadmap experience.