Student athletes gain clarity with the NIL Opendorse Marketplace


Mia Hennen

Freshman Xavier Bell signs a fan’s back at the 2022-2023 men’s basketball team meet and greet during Riverfest.

Since Shockers athletics marketplace launched on Opendorse, athletes have had the opportunity to hear how they can earn money on the platform through the name, image and likeness campaign that surrounds college athletics. 

Opendorse is a marketplace that has facilitated thousands of NIL deals and endorsements for college athletes.

“Opendorse’s NIL Marketplace is an important pathway for student athletes and the Wichita State community to facilitate NIL opportunities,” Wichita State Director of Athletics Kevin Saal said in a university press release.

Opendorse has been a platform for about 1o years. It was originally created as a space for professional athletes to gain endorsements and make deals with businesses. When NIL came onto the scene of college athletics in July 2021, Opendorse created a space for student athletes.

On Aug. 29, WSU athletics officially launched their marketplace on Opendorse. Since then, several student-athletes have taken full advantage of opportunities through the partnership.

Jalen Ricks, redshirt freshman, partnered with Supplement World through the Opendorse marketplace. Ricks’ Opendorse profile has an all star rating. 

“They ask you to do a deal, you accept it and you get paid for doing it, so it’s pretty easy that way,” Ricks said.

Athletes must also do something “to earn money.” Money cannot be given based on performance alone.
Athletes are responsible for setting a minimum pricing for specific requests. For example, Ricks has a minimum price of $25 set for autographs.

Sydney McKinneysenior shortstop, from the womeball program has been maximizing several NIL opportunities through Opendorse. 

McKinney said they have made the communication process simple. She also said it has allowed her to make professional connections for life after college sports. McKinney wants to pursue law school in the future. 

“I know some of the other deals I have they’re really cool still too but you do have to do like the outside meetings, the outside like messaging back and forth,” McKinney said.

Outside of softball, McKinney enjoys painting. Her favorite way to connect with fans through Opendorse so far is by making paintings for fans. She recently made a painting of Opendorse Director of Education  Bri Cassidy’s dog, who played softball at Nebraska for four years.

“It’s kind of cool that I get to incorporate the art through that and people that are fans of me through softball,” McKinney said. “It’s kind of cool for them to learn that I can also paint and I can utilize that.”

Bell, who played two seasons at Drexel University before coming to WSU, is a Kansas native from Andover Central. Bell’s hometown is about 20 minutes away from Wichita.

With Bell being well known in the community, he said he hopes the Shockers marketplace on Opendorse can improve his profile.

“As things kind of pick up down the road, I think it may get a little chaotic but that’s where Opendorse comes in and makes things a lot easier on our end,” Bell said.

Other info fans and donors should know: 

International athletes at Wichita State cannot accept deals through Opendorse due to federal law. However, they can discuss deals through the platform and then accept them when they get back to their home country

All athletes who make over $600 on Opendorse have to pay taxes. Opendorse prepares and sends all tax forms and knowledge on how to complete the process to each athlete.