Inside of One Week to Action
The summer slump is just about over. Louisville women's soccer officially opened the calendar last Sunday with a road scrimmage against Miami (OH), but with no real information to show for it and no one able to watch it, it might as well have never happened. I imagine the men's team will have a similar situation with their exhibition match against Lipscomb this evening in Nashville (hopefully with a more desirable result).
After today, the calendar goes dark for just a few more days before women's soccer gets things underway with the season opener at home against Indiana State on Thursday. Interestingly, field hockey appears to be dropping the alumni game this season, as I would expect it to be tomorrow if it was going to happen. The Cards open their schedule on Friday with a home scrimmage against Bellarmine. Volleyball will finally get in on the action next Saturday with the Red and Black scrimmage. Jeff will be sure to bring you all of the news and notes from that one with his column the following day.
Speaking of volleyball, the university announced earlier this week that single match tickets are now available for the matches at the KFC Yum! Center. If you'd like to get out to watch the Cards take on some premier competition and you won't be able to stand in line for one of half a dozen SRO tickets at L&N FCU Arena, now is your chance. Note that if you are a season ticket holder for volleyball, KFC Yum! Center matches are not included in the season ticket package and must be purchased separately. (For any other season ticket holders that aren't aware, tickets for the three neutral matches of the Cardinal Classic must also be purchased separately.) The university is hosting a special deal for anyone wanting to make an event of a Yum! Center match with a group of 10 or more. Be sure to check out the gocards site for more information on that.
Louisville NIL Shop to Open
Campus Ink is a merchandise platform backed by Mark Cuban. They built their brand on providing merch for fraternities, sororities, other student organizations, and fan experiences. They coordinate brand licensing with partner universities. In 2021, the platform opened the NIL Store, which provides a one-stop solution for student-athletes looking at merchandising. From the copy: "The NIL Store team handles all the creative, product creation, design, marketing, fulfillment and customer service for its student-athletes. Additionally, the NIL Store works directly with student-athletes to educate them on merchandising, marketing and sales trends to develop strategies for optimal success." Seems like a pretty good set up if you ask me. A lot better than picking a custom tee-shirt design store at random on the internet, having no brand license deal, and just hoping you can make some cash by posting the link on social media.
The NIL Store currently has open stores with major universities including Illinois (Campus Ink was originally founded at Illinois in 1947 before relaunching in 2015; the production facility is still in Urbana), Indiana, Purdue, LSU, Duke, Penn State, Mizzou, Maryland, Michigan State, Virginia Tech, Syracuse, UConn, Iowa State, FSU, Northwestern, and Rutgers. Players that elect to join the platform will have their own "locker" in the store which houses their merchandise.
|Walmart's "Custom Basketball Jersey"|
If you ask me, this is the type of thing NIL rule changes were originally intended to foster (along with commercials, ad placements, autographs, etc). All of the other collectives and recruitment pools and everything else is a knock on effect of the big business of college athletics, but this stuff gets down to the intent of it all. Student-athletes are people that fans of university teams love and want to support. They want to get their autograph. They want to wear their gear. If you could have gone online and bought a specific Lamar Jackson jersey or tee-shirt knowing he would get the money, wouldn't that have been way better than buying the red #8 no-name Louisville jersey at Walmart? Everyone knew that was just LJ's jersey without a nameplate, but he wasn't allowed to reap the benefits of how popular he was in the area.
For all its warts, that part of NIL is worth it to me. It's just good to see the players that we support and that drive the teams we love getting the opportunity to actually get something for all that adoration, especially for those that don't have the chance at a cushy post-collegiate athletic career like most of the ones we cover here at Cardinal Couple. The next step is to make sure that international players (again, like many of the ones we cover) can also gain the benefit. One thing at a time.
Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast
After having last week off, it's almost a full house for this week's show. It's a return to the studio for the aptly named World-Wide Jeff McAdams as Paulie, Jared, and I fill out the cast. We'll surely have plenty to talk about as we look back on the week that was, look ahead at the week to come, and take all the winding roads of conversation in between. As always, you can check out the live stream of the show by going to the Cardinal Couple YouTube page and clicking on the live video. Jeff usually creates that about an hour before the show, which officially starts at 11 AM Eastern. If the live time doesn't work for you, there are plenty of playback options, so be sure to check out whichever is best for you!
Cardinal Couple YouTube: Link
Anchor (podcast host): Link
Apple Podcasts: Link
Google Podcasts: Link
Overcast (free account required): Link
Pocket Casts (free account and app required): Link
Until next time, Go Cards!