Marc D’Amelio, a UConn alumnus and social media star, announced the creation of the D’Amelio Huskies collective on social media on Friday.
The Collective is a unique Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) opportunity for UConn athletes. At least one athlete from each men’s and women’s sport at UConn will have the chance to be a part of it.
Student-athletes will submit their information such as age, level, sport, position and interests on the website. After a student-athlete is selected, D’Amelio would be a personal mentor to help athletes create their own personal brand and advise them on brand deals.
D’Amelio has expertise in this area with over 600,000 Twitter followers. He also helped his daughters, Charli and Dixie, who have a combined 190 million TikTok followers, pick the right brand deals.
“The first understanding is that social media and your personal brand is the most important thing for everyone,” he told Le Courant. “It will shape their future and help them succeed throughout their careers.”
Depending on their interests, D’Amelio will match student-athletes with companies with similar interests for branding deals. D’Amelio began his career in sports licensing and is currently a partner at Mitchell & Ness.
“I want to be involved in helping students create great content,” he said. “I want to help students sign good contracts with brands.”
One of the most important things D’Amelio wants to ensure is that children are not exploited when signing brand deals.
“It’s the same thing we do with my children,” he says. “We’re looking at the deal and they say they’re going to pay us ‘X’ amount of money. Often people get excited about the higher number, but they need to know what their contract is and what liability they will have after signing that agreement.
For example, if an athlete signed a deal with a soda company for $500 but had to make 10 TikToks, D’Amelio would advise him not to accept the deal.
He also hopes to help athletes with the verification process on all social media platforms.
Currently, D’Amelio has contacted several brands interested in working with the collective. Some of these companies include a video editing app called Lightricks and Step, a teen banking platform. D’Amelio thinks he can raise between $250,000 and $500,000 from companies that have committed to the collective.
As for D’Amelio, he said he won’t profit from the collective.
“I feel like so much of what I have in my life, directly or indirectly, comes from UConn,” he said. “I’ve always had a love for college.”
D’Amelio said he was in constant contact with UConn about the idea and that the school gave him the blessing to start the collective.
“Marc D’Amelio and his family are tremendous supporters of UConn athletics and obviously have great expertise in this area,” said UConn Director of Athletics David Benedict. “Many aspects of NIL are evolving, and Marc has shown great interest in helping our student-athletes in any way possible and has taken a lot of time to educate himself on applicable NCAA rules. Marc strives to create something that benefits our student-athletes, but in a way that will ensure the sustainability of this initiative, and I am grateful to him for his efforts.
D’Amelio ensures the collective is NCAA compliant throughout the process.
“It’s not about somebody else’s money and diverting it to a student-athlete,” he said. “It’s about using the name and likeness to help generate revenue for them.”
D’Amelio said he believes the collective will pay long-term dividends for student-athletes.
“When my kids post something and a company calls and says, ‘Man, that was such an amazing post and we’ve had so many responses to it,’ it’s going to be a lot more effective in boosting self-esteem. and student-athlete understanding of how to work with corporations,” D’Amelio said, “It’s really going to be a lot better than, ‘Hey man, here’s a bag full of money.’ not what I want.
Shreyas Laddha can be reached at [email protected] or @shre98 on Twitter.