Local college athletes begin branding themselves through Phoenix start-up MediaKits

For several months, college athletes have been able to make money off their name, image and likeness after a new ruling from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

Star players have inked massive deals, and now a new Phoenix start-up is trying to help D2 and even D3 athletes find marketing success.

Arizona State University has a big-time program and football players are constantly practicing and studying on top of being a college student. But even athletes in small schools in small towns have tough time constraints.

Players still cannot be paid by schools, but they can seek endorsement deals and sell their own merchandise, the NCAA ruled.

Phoenix start-up helps college athletes brand themselves

MediaKits is trying to bridge the gap from national stars to local athletes.

ASU freshman tight end Jalin Conyers just signed up with LAA Sports thanks to the NCAA change allowing college athletes to profit off name image and likeness. "I already have merch out, but we’re going to put out more with personal shopping stuff. I’m excited to get started with them," he said.

He’s not the first ASU player to do this.

Star quarterback Jayden Daniels inked a deal with Venezia’s Pizza before the season even began.

Conyers says these deals matter because college athletes don’t have time to get a job while in school.

"Even some of the small ones, like getting your own merch and making maybe $200 like a month. Small stuff like that matters to a lot of athletes out there and for me personally, it definitely helps," Conyers said.

Not every athlete is a star and will likely need some help learning how to market themselves. That's where MediaKits comes in.

The Phoenix-based startup by Kieran O’Brien allows athletes to compile data from their social media to market themselves.

"The brands have all the access now to all their statistics, analytics, gender, demographic, age, breakdown of their followers … All the information a brand might need to make an educated decision on whether or not to put money toward a campaign," O’Brien said.

Those campaigns don’t necessarily have to be with big schools and big players.

"We also want to serve all the other NCAA athletes. Even down to D2 and D3 players because they all have influence locally in their own communities, college towns. They can make an impact on these businesses and brands that are located around them," O’Brien said.

O’Brien says they already have dozens and dozens of clients from college athletics after the platform's recent launch in August.

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