Sports marketing and entertainment agency Rubicon Talent has entered the college athletics realm by launching a division called Rubicon-U.
Rubicon-U will advise amateur athletes, universities, conferences, brands, and media platforms on ways to take advantage of opportunities with the NIL legislation, a legislation which will allow college athletes to profit from their name, image, and likeness.
Rubicon Talent founding partner, Dave Maryles, said he and his partners saw a need arise in the marketplace of college athletics and decided to take advantage of it. “I started hearing from parents of college athletes of how they should be advising their children, what should they be looking for when it comes to potential marketing deals”. Rubicon Talent doesn’t handle any on the field business like contract negotiations, they stick to strictly off the field marketing for their clients; which Maryles says helps build a sense of interest and trust for potential athletes.
Spearheading the Rubicon-U division is former NFL player Ifeanyi Momah. Momah will take on the title of director of marketing and business development after spending the last two years in a licensing and partnership role with the NFL Players Association. He comes to Rubicon with a MBA degree from Boston College and on the field player experience as a former tight end with the Detroit Lions and Arizona Cardinals.
Rubicon Talent has a top tier client roster for marketing and brand deals off the field which include San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle, Saints wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, and Washington Football Team defensive end Montez Sweat. Not to mention, Rubicon has spread their reach to consulting in sales and brand outreach for the United States Gymnastic Association and individual Olympic athletes as well. Maryles stated Rubicon has advised some of these Olympians on when to turn professional while they were still in college.
While they are still in school, Rubicon Talent has outlined some ideas on how to go about advising these athletes. “When it comes to helping these students capitalize on their success, we must educate all stakeholders involved including athletes, parents, and boosters in a number of different ways including programming, solution courses, and live seminars” Maryles says. More specifically one of these solutions that Maryles outlined as a way for athletes to profit from their name and likeness is through the Fangage Digital Autograph Platform tool. Maryles says “essentially how Fangage works is that a college athlete, in their dorm room or wherever they may be, can directly engage with fans via video chat and sign their autograph on tablet that will be delivered to a fan in real time”. “This will allow athletes to use the power of technology to expand their brand from their college town to anywhere they potentially want”.
Rubicon-U’s goal is to have a presence on all Power 5 conference campuses by interacting with all stakeholders involved including athletes, parents, alumni, boosters, and even business conferences. Dave Maryles says Rubicon U’s ultimate goal is to have a “well-oiled machine in this uncertain landscape; to help all stakeholders create opportunity and allow athletes to participate with brands that they didn’t historically work with. We hope this will pave the way for future athletes”.