Athlete Licensing Company - Empowering College Athletes Under NIL Rules
The client is a tech-enabled NIL/IP rights management company that operates as a platform designed to assist college athletes in securing endorsement deals, under the new Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) rules that were introduced two years ago. This company primarily caters to collectives, akin to college booster clubs, which play a pivotal role in attracting and retaining athletes at their respective schools.
The client faced a significant challenge when they approached FortyAU. With only months to develop and deliver their product to investors, they encountered several roadblocks. Initially, they spent a substantial amount of time working with an offshore vendor that wasn’t able to understand and build around the complex requirements. Upon realizing the shortcomings of their previous vendor, they urgently needed to pivot and build a go-to-market solution in just four months.
The most critical challenge lay in selecting the right financial solution to facilitate the payment and transactional aspects of their platform. The client had a specific vision of how the payment workflow should function, but their initial 3rd-party processor couldn't adequately support the requirements they had in mind. The vendor’s limitations included difficulties in holding money in escrow, processing incremental payments, and facilitating partial refunds.
Our Solution: FortyAU consultants were able to meticulously analyze the client's workflow needs and conduct in-depth research to find the most suitable payment processing solution. After extensive exploration, we discovered a highly promising tool named Dwala. Dwala's virtual wallets and financial management capabilities offered an excellent solution to the problem. It allowed collectives to maintain funds in virtual wallets, enabling instant funding of deals without waiting for ACH payments to process. Athletes could also maintain a balance in their wallets, receiving monthly payouts. This provided a seamless and efficient solution for managing financial transactions within the platform.
In addition to the financial component, our team developed a native mobile app for athletes to accept deals. The mobile app ensured a user-friendly interface for athletes, facilitating their involvement in the endorsement deal process. The technology stack for the project comprised Python, Django, Postgres for the database, and Google Cloud for hosting the website, which utilized a containerized approach using Cloud Run for efficient scaling and cost-effectiveness.
Python: The choice of a Python-based language was driven by the client's previous familiarity with Python. It allowed for the development of a robust platform to meet their specific needs.
Django: Django served as the web framework, providing a structured and efficient approach to building the platform's backend.
Postgres: The database management system Postgres was chosen for its robustness and scalability, essential for handling the extensive data required in athlete endorsement deals.
Google Cloud: Hosting the website on Google Cloud, particularly using Cloud Run for containerization, ensured cost-effectiveness, scalability, and efficient deployment.
Dwala: Dwala emerged as the ideal financial tool, supporting the escrow system and enabling smooth handling of funds, payments, and transactions for both collectives and athletes.
- Google Cloud
Despite the tight timeline and significant challenges the client faced, our team successfully delivered a comprehensive solution that empowered college athletes to secure endorsement deals efficiently under the new NIL rules. We overcame the obstacles by identifying the right financial tool and ensuring a robust tech stack. With an effective combination of Python, Django, Postgres, Google Cloud, and Dwala, we provided a seamless platform that meets the specific requirements of the client.
As the project transitions into a maintenance phase, the client is satisfied with the deliverable, acknowledging that the complex financial component was well addressed. The successful completion of this project underscores our commitment to providing tailored solutions to meet the unique needs of our clients including the fast-changing world of college athletics.