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UNC Brings in Brand Marketing Expert to Help With Name, Image Likeness

Players will have access to online course on marketing themselves
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The UNC football team is looking for ways to help support student athletes who will be able to start earning money on their names, images and likenesses in the near future.

The NCAA has begun loosening restrictions on NLI rights, and UNC has created a new branding initiative, Blueprint 919, to provide football student-athletes resources to understand and navigate potential opportunities.

UNC announced it is partnering with brand marketing consultant and former Adidas marketing director Jeremy Darlow to give student-athletes access to The DARLOW Rules, an online course dedicated to teaching college athletes how to develop and grow their personal brands.

"Personal branding is becoming a critical element of football programs around the country," said Mack Brown. "We're always looking for ways to educate our young men so they can take advantage of opportunities as they arise. Our partnership with Jeremy Darlow, combined with what we're already doing, will be of great benefit to our team and also sets us apart from programs we're recruiting against. We're thrilled to have Jeremy on board and look forward to watching our guys grow in this area as they navigate his online course."

Darlow has worked with Aaron Rodgers, Kris Bryant, Lionel Messi, Kanye West and Snoop Dogg. He helps college athletic programs, coaches and athletes build and elevate their brands to elite levels.

"Today, more than at any other point in history, athletes have the opportunity to build personal brands that transcend the sports they play," said Darlow. "Thanks to the exposure and influence offered by social media, these young men and women can now control their own brand destiny."

The online course features videos and walks the players through building a brand marketing plan.

"The goal is to teach athletes how to build personal brands that set them up for success in life, regardless of what happens in sports," added Darlow. "Too often athletes are defined entirely by their athletic careers without developing influence in other areas of passion. My goal is to change that."

Blueprint 919 will also have other tools available for the players. They have access to the content-sharing app INFLCR and have athletic department internal classes on media training, social media and public speaking.

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The team also brings in guest speakers, including ESPN's Maria Taylor and Booger McFarland; Charlotte Hornets President and Vice Chairman Fred Whitfield and NFL great Peyton Manning.