OU Athletics Launches ‘First-of-Its-Kind Athlete Services Division’

Sep 22, 2023

New Division to Go Beyond NIL, Bolstered by Multiple New Hires

The University of Oklahoma Athletics Department announced today the launch of a first-of-its-kind Athlete Services Division (ASD) that will build upon OU’s existing Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) infrastructure by investing in more personalized resources for student-athletes. 

OU’s Athlete Services Division will build upon “its strong NIL foundation by helping student-athletes understand and command the value of their personal brand.” In particular, it will assist student-athletes “in understanding how to fulfill NIL agreements, create content, and grow their media presence, while also ensuring student-athletes are fully educated on the evolving rules and compliance landscape.”

“At OU, our student-athletes come first,” said OU Vice President and Director of Athletics Joe Castiglione. “Our new Athlete Services Division builds upon our NIL program, taking us beyond merely supporting our student-athletes in their pursuit to benefit from their own NIL to a state where they have access to comprehensive educational services and resources. OU Athletics is the flagship brand to drive distinct value for student-athletes. By creating the opportunity for them to pair their personal brand with the power of OU’s legacy, we pave the way to lifelong success. The Athlete Services Division will fortify us in our efforts to do just that, while also continuing to position OU as a trailblazer in all of college athletics.”

OU is creating a range of new specialized roles. Heading the division will be an executive general manager from Altius, who will be entrusted with the oversight and implementation of current and future strategic initiatives related to OU student-athlete NIL. The executive general manager will oversee the division’s primary functions and support to student-athletes, including personal brand and PR strategy; athlete advocacy; education on creative content production and business development; and general NIL athlete support services.”

Toby Baldwin, who was named OU’s Executive Associate Athletics Director for NIL and Operational Advancement in 2022, will coordinate the division’s athlete-facing education, advocacy, and transactional services.

“We’re incredibly fortunate we have dedicated staff in Toby Baldwin to provide personalized, individualized support for our student-athletes,” said Castiglione. “His refined role within the division will put him in daily one-on-one interactions with student-athletes, empowering them to maximize their potential and guiding them in seizing opportunities that will best position them for success.”

The four tenets of OU’s Athletics Athlete Services Division

• A Team Approach: Departmental unit of multiple experienced professionals dedicated to supporting athletes and identifying how to diversify and optimize athlete revenue opportunities

• Specialization: Targeted roles focused on overall strategic alignment, athlete education and support, and athlete revenue optimization

• Adaptability: Designed to expand and adapt as necessary to effectively serve the evolving needs of student-athletes amidst an ever-changing collegiate sports landscape

• Combined Forces: Altius’ national perspective combined with the local expertise of OU’s staff provides for an informed and centralized strategy to position student-athletes for success

Castiglione emphasized the division’s adaptability. “Through this new division, we stay committed to remaining agile in the ever-evolving collegiate sports landscape,” he said. “We are fully prepared to expand and adapt as necessary so we can best serve our student-athletes.”

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