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Florida Athletics Launches Gators Made Program

Courtesy of University Athletic Association

BY SAM STOLTE

A long term career, financial, and personal branding program

The University of Florida Athletic Association has officially launched the Gators Made program, which will focus on providing student-athletes with enhanced tools for career success. Gators Made takes the existing UAA support in the area of career advising, financial planning, and professional sports counseling and adds enhancements with brand and social media assessments and education on name, image, and likeness opportunities.

“The comprehensive and continued education of our student-athletes remains a priority in the Gators athletic program,” said Scott Stricklin. “A staple of those programs over the years has been financial literacy, along with career and personal skills development. Gators Made adds personal brand and social media development to better position student-athletes for current and long-term success.”

Florida’s launch coincides with Opendorse’s kick-off of ‘Ready with Darlow’ as an addition to the company’s best-in-class brand and social media assessment offering. The exclusive arrangement makes the program the sole avenue for college athletic departments to access brand consultant and award-winning author Jeremy Darlow and his suite of Darlow athlete development resources.

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Darlow, a leading brand consultant and best-selling author, has worked with some of the most heralded athletes, celebrities, and NCAA programs in and around sports. Darlow was the former director of marketing for adidas football and baseball and the author of Brands Win Championships and Athletes Are Brands Too. His portfolio of athletes and celebrities includes: Aaron Rodgers, Dak Prescott, Lionel Messi, Snoop Dogg and Kanye West, to name a few.

By joining the exclusive program, Florida student-athletes and staff receive Opendorse’s development program featuring personal Assessment, Education, and Performance pillars. By adding the Darlow upgrade, Florida athletes, coaches, and staff will receive exclusive access to Darlow personal branding education, live interactive coaching sessions, and full access to the Darlow Rules course, among other resources.

Much of the Gators Made principles have already been in practice at the Hawkins Center on campus through the Gators Experience Program, which focuses on developing student-athletes into Prepared Professionals. This programming includes career development, personal development, leadership, and social engagement programs tailored to fit a student-athlete’s journey towards professional athletics, the workforce, or graduate school.

Formed in 1985, the University of Florida Professional Sports Counseling Panel assists Gators student-athletes in evaluating individual professional potential, provides assistance in selecting professional representation, and prepares student-athletes for a professional career in sports. The panel, which is authorized by the NCAA, is comprised of three president-appointed members. Florida’s panel has been selected as a model panel for other universities to follow.

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