Marshall Athletics Department introduces Herd Exchange, platform for NIL business opportunities

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Student-athletes at Marshall University have another opportunity to pursue Name, Image, & Likeness (NIL) business opportunities.

The Marshall University Athletics Department announced this week, in conjunction with INFLCR, the Herd Exchange. According to the athletics department, companies can register for the website and then view the profiles of each student-athlete available.

“The business can go and register, they see all of our student-athletes. They can pick whatever student-athlete that fits their brand or that they want to work with and start communicating with them,” Sean Tuttle, the Associate Athletics Director of Compliance for Marshall said on MetroNews ‘Talkline’ Thursday.

Herd Exchange now via Examples of possible business deals include public appearances, autograph signings, social media promotion and endorsement, private lessons and athletic camps, the athletics department said in a release.

Tuttle added that the student-athlete’s social media accounts are linked to the pages so that businesses can view the complete profile, including analytics of the reach of the student-athlete. Tuttle added that a student-athlete has to accept the business to talk to them for contact information to be shared.

He added that Marshall is staying hands-off but does vet the businesses requesting the student-athletes. INFLCR and Marshall University will not be involved in any of the negotiations.

“Just to make sure that they are legit businesses. If we get any feedback from our student-athletes that they are harassed or the negotiations were not upheld, or if the deal went sideways, then we can deny those businesses from engaging further,” Tuttle said.

Christian Spears, the Director of Athletics at Marshall said in a release, “We are extremely excited to bring this new platform not only to our Marshall University student-athletes, but to our local community businesses and worldwide supporters of Marshall University Athletics. The Herd Exchange and the strong support from the Marshall community will allow all of our student-athletes to maximize their value in the world of N.I.L.”

Upon finalization of a NIL deal within the Local Exchange, student-athletes will then be able to complete a compliance disclosure within the INFLCR app. The app will also include a payment processing tool for the business to securely and directly pay the student-athlete, with no transaction fees, a release said.

All disclosure and payment data automatically reports to the institution’s existing INFLCR compliance portal, and any payments processed using this tool will be reported on a consolidated 1099 that lives in the student-athlete’s INFLCR app for more efficient tax reporting.

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