Two WSU seniors launch NIL business to work with fellow Shockers
One of the most recognizable Wichita State athletes over the last couple of years is softball player Syd McKinney.
As the team has started to win more over the last two seasons, McKinney and her teammates have been taking advantage of the popularity through their name, image, and likeness rights, or NIL. “It's really cool just to see the community come out for us as be able to connect with fans”
The NCAA started allowing student-athletes to profit off their NIL in 2021.
That’s when WSU students Jon Peterson and Jacob O’Connor first got interested in it. Peterson says “we saw that there wasn't a lot of activity here in Wichita regarding NIL, so we thought, you know, we're college students, we kind of can connect with these students and kind of relate to them. “
After workshopping a few different business models and ideas, the two launched Player Cards this year. The company arranges events for student-athletes like McKinney to meet with fans at a local business and sign autographs.
She says it's been a change of pace to work with her fellow students on NIL instead of alumni or other groups. “We're always so busy that we don't think of connecting outside of sports, so working with the guys has been really cool.”
The two have worked with 17 Shocker athletes across 6 sports with Player Card.
Peterson says they have found that the Wichita business community has been more than willing to work with them. “Being able to meet with some of the business owners and stuff like that kind of pitch them. They've been really receptive and really open to kind of trying this new thing out because NIL is new."
The two say they will continue to grow player cards as they get ready to graduate in the spring, with the goal of hopefully making this a full-time job as the NIL space continues to expand. "Every school, most likely next five years are going to have its own nil department. So right now, we see that a lot of them are working with companies like us, partners like us" O'Connor told KAKE.
To learn more about Player Card, Visit here.