Opendorse and the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) inked a partnership to provide industry-leading NIL resources for all its student-athletes.
The MIAA has been trailblazing for generations.
Originally founded as the Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association in 1912, the NCAA Division II conference now governs 14 institutions in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. As technology and evolving NIL legislation have provided new opportunities for innovation, the MIAA became the first DII conference to partner with Opendorse.
“Some believe that NIL opportunities are only available to top DI football and basketball student-athletes,” said MIAA Commissioner Mike Racy. “I don’t believe that. Opendorse has helped open the door for these opportunities to NCAA Division II student-athletes at MIAA member schools.”
From high quality educational content to branded marketplaces to facilitate NIL deals and compliance technology to track transactions, there are significant benefits. Access to Opendorse NIL resources is a game changer for MIAA schools and student-athletes.
“We’re on a mission to help every athlete, at all levels of sport, and this partnership brings us a step closer to achieving that,” said Opendorse Co-Founder and CEO Blake Lawrence. “I’m proud to help the MIAA and its student-athletes navigate NIL and maximize their opportunities in this new market. The conference’s leadership will help MIAA athletes be positioned for success beyond the field or court for years to come.”
The impact of the partnership is being felt at the conference level, and also on individual campuses.
“In the MIAA, students compete in front of some of the most passionate fans in college sports. The MIAA has lead NCAA Division II in attendance marks in football and men’s and women’s basketball the past several years,” Racy said. “MIAA fans support their schools and love their student-athletes. Opendorse has provided a market where fans can go to support MIAA programs, and MIAA student-athletes can go to discover NIL opportunities”
Five individual MIAA members now have school-specific partnerships with Opendorse: Fort Hays State University (Hays, Kan.), Lincoln University (Jefferson City, Mo.), Pittsburg State University (Pittsburg, Kan.). University of Central Missouri (Warrensburg, Mo.), and University of Central Oklahoma (Edmond, Okla.).
“It is evident that MIAA administrators and support staff strive to provide the very best tools and resources for their student-athletes,” said Marissa Cassidy, Opendorse account executive who oversees partnership connections with MIAA schools. “I have the privilege of seeing it every day – MIAA leadership is innovative, always looking to foster a holistic experience for the athletes they serve.”
To supplement tools from the Opendorse relationship, the MIAA was also among the first NCAA conferences to partner with Empower U to provide additional institutional support in navigating NIL rules by state and NCAA NIL policies.
But it’s not just the NIL companies and helping student-athletes explore how to get an NIL deal in a safe way. The MIAA owns and operates The MIAA Network for streaming and broadcasting. The broadcast platform has helped the conference, schools, and its athletes build and share their brand with the world.
“The MIAA Network is one of the premier subscription-based media platforms in the NCAA,” Racy said. “The network provides a great platform for our association to highlight the talented, skilled student-athletes competing for MIAA and NCAA championships.”
Each school can produce its own game broadcasts. The MIAA Network also includes regular programming opportunities that allows student-athletes to get real-life experience with media and broadcasting. The MIAA Basketball Championships are broadcast and produced on The MIAA Network by students, one of the only NCAA championships to be streamed, broadcasted, and produced entirely by students. Revenue from MIAA Network programming is funneled back into schools.
“Last year, more than 1,400 live MIAA sporting events were broadcast on The MIAA Network and more than 300,000 unique viewers watched MIAA student-athletes compete in 15 different sports,” Racy said.
As the MIAA’s athletic successes carry on, its institutions will continue to be pioneers in the NIL era. They have the tools and vision to take their game to the next level – on and off the field of play.