Ecommerce Platform Led By Former Mountaineers Will Oversee Name, Image, and Likeness Sponsorships for School's 450-plus Student Athletes
MORGANTOWN, W. VA / ACCESSWIRE / August 5, 2021 / VEEPIO Holdings, LLC (VEEPIO), the integrated ecommerce platform using technology to change how athletes can earn money from their names, images, and likenesses (NIL), is partnering with West Virginia University to revolutionize sponsorship opportunities for the school's student athletes.
Through the partnership, VEEPIO will be a full-service resource for both West Virginia University (WVU) student athletes and organizations interested in sponsoring Mountaineers. VEEPIO will handle all aspects of NIL sponsorships, from brokering the deals to monitoring all analytics, recording all NIL activity, customizing a student athlete's profile for distribution, and securing payment for the student athlete.
The VEEPIO leadership team has strong ties to West Virginia. Grant Wiley, the former WVU standout linebacker, consensus All-American, and WVU Sports Hall of Famer, will be the point person for facilitating NIL opportunities for WVU student athletes and potential clients, as VEEPIO's chief of culture. Jonathan Ohliger, a former WVU kicker, is CEO and Najee Goode, the veteran NFL linebacker and former Mountaineer, is chief of fan experience. All three members of the VEEPIO leadership team are Entrepreneurs in Residence with Vantage Ventures, an initiative of WVU's John Chambers College of Business and Economics. Vantage Ventures is leading an effort to welcome new, innovative financial technology (fintech) companies to the state.
"We are focused on nurturing and cultivating fintech entrepreneurs who are tackling complex economic challenges and VEEPIO is a sterling example of a start-up doing just that," said Vantage Ventures Executive Director Sarah Biller. "VEEPIO is developing a high-impact, scalable business in West Virginia and its founders represent the innovative spirit, determined grit, and pull of the state. Grant, Jonathan, and Najee may not be West Virginians by birth but they embraced the state once they experienced it - and we couldn't be happier that they're playing this innovative, important role for WVU and its student athletes."
The partnership will allow WVU student athletes to use VEEPIO's iOS mobile application and its software development kit (SDK), which links an athlete to a brand and story to create an opportunity for ecommerce. VEEPIO's extensive technology offerings will enhance NIL opportunities for the university and its student athletes.
VEEPIO also intends to provide student athletes with financial literacy and other educational opportunities. Ultimately, the company hopes to help enable corporate sponsors to develop a talent pipeline of educated, dedicated, diverse, and hardworking young adults to whom they might not have previously had access.
"West Virginia has a legacy of meeting new challenges with unique solutions," said Wiley. "We've been developing the technology behind VEEPIO for years and can't wait to put it to use with a cause close to our hearts: supporting Mountaineer student athletes. We are excited to be part of a new generation of fintech businesses providing opportunities to West Virginians."
VEEPIO is one of a number of fintech companies finding a home in West Virginia with the support of Vantage Ventures and technology leaders, venture investors, and financial institutions from the state.
On June 30, the NCAA announced an interim policy, allowing student athletes to monetize their NIL. The announcement came on the heels of a June 21 Supreme Court unanimous decision that NCAA restrictions on "education-related benefits" for college athletes violated antitrust laws.
About VEEPIO Holdings, LLC
VEEPIO is an integrated ecommerce platform, founded by West Virginia University grads, aimed at transforming how athletes monetize their personal brands. Co-founded by NFL linebackers Najee Goode and Grant Wiley, along with finance and tech expert Jonathan Ohliger, VEEPIO is changing the way fans interact with teams through mobile apps. VEEPIO integrates seamlessly into existing applications, and allows content publishers to link any moving object in video within the app to additional content on the web so that the end user never leaves the platform when browsing. For more information, visit: https://veep.io or follow VEEPIO on Twitter: @VEEPIO, Instagram: @VEEPIO, and LinkedIn.
About Vantage Ventures
Housed at the John Chambers College of Business and Economics at West Virginia University, Vantage Ventures provides a bold new generation of entrepreneurs with a systematic and repeatable process to transform their world-changing ideas into scalable businesses. Vantage Ventures leverages its network of mentors, talent, capital allocators, academics, and committed industry partners, including entrepreneurs and the innovation engines of large companies, to forge a new path of economic growth. It is backed by globally influential technology leaders, Fortune Class companies, venture investors, and an unexpectedly cool R1 Institution. For more information, visit: https://vantageventures.io or follow Vantage Ventures on Twitter: @VantageWV, Instagram: @VantageVentures, and LinkedIn.
Kyle W. Kempf
Caliber Corporate Advisers
SOURCE: Vantage Ventures