USC football announced the launch of an in-house creative lab called BLVD Studios focused on building player brands and maximizing name, image and likeness opportunities.
These are interesting times in college football. As the landscape moves towards players profiting off their name, image and likeness, programs need to change the way they approach recruiting.
USC football is doing just that by announcing a partnership with creative agency J1S to launch an “innovated in-house creative lab” aimed at giving players “resources, education, and strategy to help student-athletes build, promote, and leverage their brands and maximize their market value.”
It’s a bold step forward for the Trojans that puts them ahead of the curve when it comes to attracting recruits based on their brand power.
USC dropped a music video to promote the partnership:
If you’re not part of the Tik Tok generation, the video may not do it for you. That’s not the point. The whole idea is to appeal to recruits, who will now have to take branding into account when considering their college choices.
USC football recruits were hyped about the new NIL approach
The true fruits of this labor will come down the line, but initial responses from USC recruits on Twitter were encouraging.
Some recruits shared the latest image produced by USC’s graphics team. It touts the new BLVD Studios and how it can “capitalize on Name, Image, Likeness opportunities.”
“BLVD embodies the heart of LA…where YOU can become a star…” it reads.
Others, like commits Calen Bullock, Colin Mobley, Anthony Beavers and Jaylin Smith, gave props to the video premiere.
Recruiting target Kamari Ramsey, a four-star safety in the class of 2022, dropped some eyeball emojis in response.
Fans also got in on the action to make their own recruiting pitch.
USC’s 2021 recruiting class currently ranks No. 7 nationally in the 247Sports composite with 22 pledges on the board. If BLVD Bound draws the attention the Trojans hope, that class should get even better.