May 25, 2021

Ohio State Launches THE Platform


The Ohio State Department of Athletics has selected Opendorse to provide Ohio State student-athletes with education and resource opportunities to capitalize on their Name, Image and Likeness (NIL).

The Opendorse program will be administered through the Eugene D. Smith Leadership Institute (EDSLI). Ohio State student-athletes will be able to take advantage of NIL educational programming via Opendorse Ready™ + Darlow Rules. The unique program, tailored specifically for Ohio State, is called THE Platform™.

“We are thrilled to offer our student-athletes Opendorse Ready + Darlow Rules,” said senior associate athletic director Carey Hoyt. “We went through an extensive review of the companies offering NIL services and are confident we will provide our student-athletes with cutting-edge technology and the resources to maximize their NIL earning potential.”

With Opendorse Ready, Ohio State will empower Buckeye student-athletes with a custom assessment of their current brand value alongside a roadmap to maximize it. The program includes live consultation sessions with industry leaders and provides on-demand access to the NIL Masterclass, a video series featuring experts on brand building, monetization, and financial literacy from leading brands including Instagram, Twitter, the Players’ Tribune, and Overtime.

The EDSLI provides leadership, character and career development for all Ohio State student-athletes in order to best prepare them for life after graduation. THE Platform will provide student-athletes a comprehensive development program designed to cultivate and grow their personal brands and platforms in the Name, Image, and Likeness world.

“Our work in the Eugene D. Smith Leadership Institute, has allowed us to establish great relationships across campus and in Central Ohio,” said Hoyt. “At Ohio State, our people are our greatest asset, and we will collaborate with experts on and off campus to provide top-notch education to our teams; including a partnership through the Fisher College of Business, Center for Innovation for those student-athletes who have entrepreneurial aspirations.”

Opendorse Ready™ is the elite NIL education solution in college athletics. The program provides student-athletes with industry-proven assessment, education, and performance tools to understand, build, and protect their personal brands. Having facilitated endorsement opportunities with thousands of professional athletes, Opendorse has built Ready on a foundation of tangible insights and data from a decade of athlete marketing experience.

LEARN MORE: THE Platform Details

“Gene Smith and the Ohio State Athletics leadership have been committed to building the very best program for their student-athletes from day-one of the NIL discussion,” said Opendorse CEO Blake Lawrence. “THE Platform may not be the first program announced in college sports, but I fully expect it to set a standard of its own. I’m incredibly proud to introduce Opendorse to Ohio State Athletics and empower Buckeye student-athletes to develop the skills to succeed today and long beyond their time on campus.”

Every student-athlete will participate in five educational sessions throughout the month of June. The first session will be a live session with marketing expert, Jeremy Darlow, where he will share insights with student-athletes on how to build their personal brand and how to take advantage of education and marketing advice. For more information on Darlow’s one-of-a-kind system for becoming an elite marketer, follow The Darlow Rules.

In addition to the educational opportunities through the EDSLI and THE Platform, the department is working with the Ohio State University Center for Innovation Strategies, which is an official academic center of The Ohio State University housed at the Fisher College of Business. The center facilitates innovation-based learning and experiences that will impact the global economy by assisting in new company formation and the development of new products and services.

Paul Reeder is the Executive Director of the Center for Innovation Strategies and his mission is to partner with key university stakeholders to establish a unified, overarching innovation collaboration strategy that maximizes value creation for Ohio State.

“The Center for Innovation Strategies is honored to partner with our Ohio State Department of Athletics through the Eugene D. Smith Leadership Institute,” Reeder said. “Student athletes possess a natural aptitude for creating high value businesses. The CIS is excited to provide support for THE Platform and focus on the growth of the student athlete, allowing them to reach their post Ohio State Athletics goals, both professionally and personally.”

The Student Program Manager at the CIS is former Ohio State men’s ice hockey student-athlete Christian Lampasso. As a Bucks Go Pro intern with CIS prior to his senior season, Lampasso developed OnRamp: a student-driven innovation accelerator. Over the past 3 years, the accelerator has developed over 100+ innovative projects for notable companies such as Honda R&D, Nationwide, JP Morgan Chase, and The J.M. Smucker Company. Click here for more information on the Ohio State Center for Innovation Strategies.



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