The Illinois State Athletics department has partnered with brand marketing consultant and best-selling author Jeremy Darlow to assist Redbird student-athletes in developing and growing their personal brands.

“We are excited about this collaboration with Jeremy Darlow and The DARLOW Rules program,” Illinois State Director of Athletics Larry Lyons said. “This partnership focuses on our student-athletes’ personal growth, brand development and leadership and will provide them with tools that will prepare them for life after sports. We feel this will be a key addition to our comprehensive life skills and personal development programming initiatives coordinated by our staff in the Karin L. Bone Athletics Study Center.”

Darlow, the best-selling author of Brands Win Championships and Athletes Are Brands Too, will provide Redbird student-athletes access to “The DARLOW Rules” program, which features short, easy to understand, video-based lessons teaching athletes from every sport the fundamentals of brand development and communication. Illinois State is the first university in the state to enroll in the program.

“The Illinois State mission aspires for more than simply success on the field or court,” Darlow stated. “Redbird Athletics is focused on preparing their student-athletes for life beyond sports. It’s an honor to work with a university dedicated to teaching their athletes what it takes to build a plan for the rest of their lives, not simply the rest of their college careers. This partnership is a testament to that dedication.”

By the end of the course, student-athletes will have built their own brand marketing plan, employing the same planning techniques used by Darlow over the course of his extensive career in sports marketing. Additionally, each graduating student will receive a certificate of completion to include on their professional resume.

“The goal is to teach athletes how to build personal brands that set them up for success in life, regardless of what happens in sports,” Darlow added. “Too often athletes are defined entirely by their athletic careers without developing influence in other areas of passion. My goal is to change that.”

Darlow is a leading brand consultant, former director of marketing for adidas Football and Baseball, adjunct marketing professor, and author of best-selling books. Over his career, he has worked with schools like Notre Dame, Michigan, and UCLA; athletes that include Aaron Rodgers, Kris Bryant, and Lionel Messi; and celebrities such as Kanye West and Snoop Dogg.

For more information and to explore The DARLOW Rules, visit Darlow’s website or follow the conversation on Twitter via @JeremyDarlow.

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Athletics