Inside HOKIE SPORTS | Vol. 14 No. 6 | June 2022 27 ATHLETICSANNUALREPORT Virginia Tech Athletics made huge strides to provide compliant and enticing NIL opportunities for student-athletes during the 20212022 academic year. Student-athletes in Blacksburg have new options to capitalize on their name, image, and likeness thanks to the efforts of both the department and various outside partners. JUMPSTART The Department of Athletics announced the launch of its comprehensive NIL program, an internal effort to educate and prepare student-athletes for the best ways to build their brands, seek out business opportunities, and allow them to make the best decisions for their future. HOKIES EXCHANGE Virginia Tech announced the launch of Hokies Exchange in partnership with INFLCR, a platform that connects businesses directly with student-athletes for NIL deals, in March 2022. Student-athletes and businesses can opt in to participate, and the Hokies Exchange platform can facilitate NIL transactions. Businesses are able to register at for student-athletesVirginia Tech leads charge for Name, Image, and Likeness opportunities ADVANCINGwith THE TIMES FANATICS & ONETEAM PARTNERSHIP Thanks to Virginia Tech Athletics’ partnership with Fanatics, fans will soon be able to purchase customized football jerseys representing current student-athletes, allowing the student-athlete to be compensated for every sale of their jersey. Similar group licensing opportunities will be available for other teams in the future. NIL COLLECTIVES Three NIL Collectives announced in 2022 their intentions to work with Virginia Tech student-athletes. These collectives create avenues for stakeholders to provide the capital necessary to facilitate NIL agreements with Virginia Tech student-athletes. COMMONWEALTH NIL Commonwealth NIL is a New River Valley based company founded by former Virginia State Delegate Nick Rush and Tech alum Forrest Rush. Commonwealth NIL specializes in comprehensive, diverse, and innovative NIL solutions. Commonwealth NIL is raising resources for NIL contracts through events, activities and special sales with a unique focus in the Commonwealth of Virginia. HOT ROUTE MARKETING, LLC Hot Route Marketing has taken a different approach than other organizations in the NIL space. Under the leadership of Virginia Tech alum Kelly Woolwine, Hot Route Marketing, LLC represents a vehicle in which business, donors and fans can invest into a consolidated pool of resources from which NIL opportunities can be arranged for student-athletes. TRIUMPH NIL, LLC Triumph NIL seeks to partner corporate clients with Tech studentathletes to build compelling campaigns that drive real results, in addition to offering platforms for donors and fans to support their favorite Hokies. This group is led by James Cowan, chairman at CowanPerry PC and also includes former Tech All-American running back, Kevin Jones. ®