SDSU launches 'Aztec Advantage' program for student-athletes

Aztecs win, 23-20, in overtime thriller against Eastern Michigan
Posted at 4:30 PM, Apr 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-05 19:30:15-04

SAN DIEGO (CNS) — San Diego State's athletics department Tuesday announced the Aztec Advantage, a name, image and likeness program intended to educate student-athletes about their rights and opportunities.

On July 1, 2021, the NCAA adopted an interim policy that allows any college athlete the opportunity to license their name, image and likeness, as long as they abide by state law and other NCAA rules.

"Last summer, student-athletes gained the opportunity to take advantage of their NIL," SDSU Director of Athletics John David Wicker said. "This was another positive step in our institution's support of our student- athletes. Since that time the athletics department has developed multiple programs to support our student-athletes in their NIL opportunities."

Aztec Advantage is intended to provide resources and programming to Aztecs athletes through partnerships with national NIL programs, integration into the SDSU's "Aztec Going Pro Program," and support from the university's full-time NIL coordinator Michelle Meyer.

The program will connect local businesses, fans and alumni to San Diego State student-athletes for NIL activities through two platforms -- Opendorse and Empower Aztecs. Opendorse allows brands and fans to pitch things, such as personal appearances, autograph signings or campus tours, while the Empower Aztecs platform connects and facilitates local businesses, supporters and fans to SDSU players.

SDSU will also offer protection to ensure all rules are being followed, Wicker said.

"San Diego State athletes have an amazing opportunity to capitalize on their NIL," Meyer said. "We live in the eighth-largest city in the country, have an incredible alumni network, and a dedicated fanbase.

"Aztec Advantage is designed to empower both our athletes and our community to engage in rewarding NIL activations," she added. "I am so excited to provide guidance and watch our athletes thrive in this new era of collegiate sports."