UCLA’s NIL portal aims to connect athletes with businesses

It must never be said that UCLA has nothing to do with the NIL.

Athletics school officials will announce Thursday afternoon a new venture called the Westwood Exchange designed to improve the ability of Bruins athletes to secure agreements on name, image and likeness.

Westwood Exchange will allow companies, donors, fans and alumni to register with the school so they can connect directly with athletes seeking NIL deals which may include autograph sessions, private lessons in their respective sports, public appearances, training camps. athletics and social media promotion, among other possibilities. The initiative is expected to focus on small local businesses that want to involve UCLA athletes and could be particularly beneficial in securing deals for those competing in low-profile sports.

“We are thrilled to add Westwood Exchange to our NIL programming,” said UCLA Athletic Director Martin Jarmond. “This streamlined process allows alumni, local fans and companies to interact with our student-athletes like never before. The exchange offers our student-athletes direct access to Bruin Nation and vice versa. ”

After registration, companies or individuals can contact athletes through a portal that lists those interested in looking for NIL offers. The portal also facilitates payment and issues compliance documents in addition to tax forms that athletes will need to disclose their income. Companies can register at uclabruins.com/westwoodexchange.

“It will be such an amazing platform for UCLA student-athletes to acquire great NIL opportunities,” said Shae Anderson, an UCLA sprinter who competed in the Tokyo Olympics.

UCLA had previously announced Westwood Ascent, who provided tutorials for athletes on NIL basics, creating personal branding, and disclosing agreements. UCLA has also offered NIL programs through the Anderson School of Management, the Center for Media, Entertainment and Sports, and the Law School’s Ziffren Institute for Media, Entertainment, Technology and Sports Law.

Along the way, UCLA has provided its athletes with access to technology that provides graphics and photography to personalize social media galleries via a mobile app, as well as audience engagement data and analytics.

Since the NIL agreements were allowed on July 1, an army of UCLA athletes have become brand ambassadors. Among other deals, shooting guard Johnny Juzang had his bobblehead doll, receiver Kam Brown scored a deal with Mercedes-Benz, and quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson recently announced a deal with Crocs as part of his growing portfolio.