Jayhawks Ascend

Kansas Athletics announced the launch of Jayhawks Ascend: A new program regarding Name, Image, and Likeness. The program centers around four essential pillars, aimed to assist student-athletes. 

Kansas Athletics announced the launch of Jayhawks Ascend, a new program “designed to assist student-athletes in their journey of pursuing a degree from the University of Kansas,” according to Kansas Athletics.

The program was officially introduced to KU student-athletes this week and will operate under the guidance of KU Director of Athletics, Travis Goff.

“A staple of Kansas Athletics has always been putting our student-athletes in the best position to succeed, and that is our clear intention with Jayhawks Ascend,” Goff said in a press release Friday. “With the initialization of Name, Image and Likeness and the notoriety that comes with being a student-athlete at KU, Jayhawks Ascend will elevate our student-athletes and allow them to flourish in this new day and age in college athletics. Not only will this program assist in navigating the new NIL world, this all-encompassing educational program will help our nearly 500 student-athletes continue their pursuit of a degree while also preparing them for life after KU.” 

The program is based on “four essential pillars”: Personal Brand Management, Name, Image, and Likeness Protection, KU Resource Engagement and Post KU Preparedness. 

Pillar 1: 

The Personal Brand Management pillar will focus on providing athletes with social media training, one-on-one brand building, student-athlete assessments, digital reports, and brand identity training. 

Kansas will also work with brand management companies Opendorse and INFLCR to help grow student-athletes’ brands. 

Pillar 2: 

The Name, Image, and Likeness Protection pillar will, “be centered around basic guidelines from compliance as the department navigates the transition,” according to Kansas Athletics. Kansas Athletics also said that “All Jayhawk student-athletes will receive basic compliance education throughout the entire year, while utilizing compliance services that provides a safe and secure communication channel for student-athletes.” 

Kansas has also hired Athliance and Opendorse Ready to assist student-athletes through the process. 

Pillar 3: 

Kansas Athletics states that pillar three is about KU Resource Engagement utilizing “the university involvement with student-athlete Name, Image and Likeness activities including free legal services to student-athletes and courses to get entrepreneurship certificates for non-business majors.”

Pillar 4: 

“The final pillar, Post KU Preparedness centers around financial literacy, tax preparation assistance, business fundamentals, and professional development,” according to Kansas Athletics. 

KU has partnered with Meritrust to assist and teach student-athletes about the different factors of financial literacy.

Kansas men's basketball coach, Bill Self, and Kansas football coach, Lance Leipold, also weighed in on the new program. 

“Our guys are in a great position to benefit off their Name, Image and Likeness, and this program will put them at the forefront in this new day of college athletics,” Self told Kansas Athletics. “Our athletic department has put countless hours and planning into this and have done a great job making this program unique to the unbelievable resources we have here at KU.”

“Jayhawks Ascend puts us in a great position to equip our student-athletes in this time of transition to Name, Image and Likeness in college athletics,” Leipold told Kansas Athletics. “It’s a comprehensive plan that ensures the members of our team will benefit from all of the great resources at Kansas, both during their time here and in the future.”




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