There is a famous adage that goes, “The best feeling in the world is getting paid to do what you love.” After all, most people dream of being able to pursue their passion as a profession. Unfortunately, this ideal set-up was previously out of reach for college athletes who were prohibited from using their identity for money-making opportunities. But in 2021, the tides finally turned when the NCAA or National Collegiate Athletic Association finally approved the NIL legislation that permits these talented students to profit from their Name, Image, and Likeness.
However, alongside this welcomed change is a steep learning curve, and many of these young individuals have found it difficult or overwhelming to navigate their newfound opportunity. As such, one outstanding venture is making it easier to introduce these incredible athletes to the world of entrepreneurship: Athlete’s Thread.
The enterprise has developed an intuitive approach that makes it fast and easy for athletes to launch their very own personalized merch. For every launch of each athlete and College Sports program, a micro store with eight to 12 products is included. In addition, these items can then be sold via online stores and come with fully licensed designs.
Aside from its exceptional services, what separates Athlete’s Thread from other organizations is its commitment to inclusivity. Whereas other ventures only focus on star athletes with the biggest following and influence, it welcomes all NCAA players, regardless of their team, gender, or social following, to monetize their name, image and likeness. But above all, it aims to provide these stellar individuals a chance to share their stories.
Currently, Athlete’s Thread has already launched 2,000 athletes across 12 colleges all over the country. Moreover, there are already 58 colleges in the pipeline waiting to go live with their athletes, and it is projected that the enterprise will have a whopping 8,000 additional athletes by the end of the year.
Although the brand is relatively new, one key factor that helped it achieve such impressive accomplishments is the unrivaled expertise of its co-founders, Luke McGurrin and Karthik Shanadi. The established entrepreneurs have been dominating the apparel industry for nearly a decade. In fact, they are the brilliant minds behind highly renowned companies starting with Greek House, founded in 2013 as a revolutionary platform that has streamlined the process of ordering custom apparel, servicing Greek life at more than 500 colleges.
Motivated by the unprecedented success of their pioneer initiative, the two went on to create several other enterprises, such as College Thread, which caters to all types of student organizations and college departments, and Threadly, a brand that makes custom apparel for any organization, including businesses, 5Ks, creators, and even churches.
As a testament to the significant impact of its proprietary technology across various sectors, Greek House has been named one of the fastest-growing private companies by Inc. 5000 for four consecutive years, from 2019 to 2022.
Moving forward, Luke and Karthik remain steadfast in their goal of elevating the apparel industry while making NIL much more manageable and effortless for all student-athletes. As the visionaries insightfully share, “While Athletes Thread is a new opportunity, this is ten years of experience leading us up to this point, and we’re ready to scale like crazy after refining and perfecting our technology.”