A first-of-its-kind partnership is set to open the door for a group of HBCU student-athletes.

According to a press release, North Carolina Central University (NCCU) has become the first HBCU to partner with The Brandr Group (TBG) — a brand management, marketing, and licensing agency — for its group licensing program. The recently launched partnership is set to create “new opportunities for NCCU student-athletes in all 15 sports who want to use their name, image, and likeness (NIL) together with the university’s official trademarks and logos,” the press release discloses.

“We are thrilled to welcome NCCU to our family as our first HBCU partner, and we look forward to working together to support Eagles student-athletes through this new agreement, “said Rick Perko, Vice President of Program Development at TBG. “There are several companies and individuals who are interested in making a difference with student athletes at HBCUs and group licensing will allow them to have the greatest breadth of impact. Through co-branded opportunities across NCCU’s merchandising and sponsorship portfolio, their talented athletes will have the ability to monetize their NIL, while Eagles fans will also enjoy new ways to celebrate their favorite players.”

The new partnership opens the door for NCCU’s student-athletes to have the opportunity to voluntarily join in with TBG, who will facilitate group licensing opportunities on their behalf. If group licensing is in the student-athletes’ interest, it won’t take away from their NIL rights in their individual licensing and marketing activities.

“This partnership with a respected leader in the group licensing industry will provide our talented and dynamic student-athletes with unique NIL opportunities,” said NCCU Director of Athletics Dr. Louis “Skip” Perkins. “We are proud to be the first HBCU to join forces with The Brandr Group as a demonstration of NCCU’s commitment to elevating our deserving student-athletes.”

TBG aims to partner with more HBCUs in the near future.