Tom Holmoe, left, and Kalani Sitake, right, announce the Built4Life initiative at BYU Football Media Day on June 17. (Addie Blacker)

BYU Athletics announces Built4Life initiative for student-athletes’ economic futures

BYU Athletics launched a new initiative called Built4Life during Football Media Day on Thursday.

The program is both an effort to adapt to upcoming Name, Image and Likeness rights for NCAA athletes and provide mentorship and employment opportunities for student-athletes after graduation.

“We welcome our student-athletes to monetize their own personal brands, and make as much money as they can, but our Built4Life program revolves around a wholistic student-athlete development system with learning and employment opportunities that will benefit them far beyond their time as a student-athlete,” BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe said. “This program aligns with our university’s culture of inspiring learning and is an outgrowth of the culture within our football program.”

BYU launched a new website, BYUBuilt4Life.org, for the initiative, and newly-hired associate athletic director for student-athlete experience Gary Veron will be heavily involved in directing the new initiative.

“In many ways, Built4Life was created by student-athletes for student-athletes,” Veron said. “It is a program that we will continually improve as we solicit regular feedback and input from our student-athletes.”

Current BYU athletes Alex Barcello, Shaylee Gonzales, Lopini Katoa and Dolita Shaw are part of the advisory board for Built4Life. The initiative also includes partnerships with local businesses and leaders who can provide networking and mentorship for BYU athletes.

Former Utah Gov. Gary Herbert was in attendance at the announcement as one such partner, offering his input on why this is an important step for BYU and how Utah is the ideal economic environment for this kind of initiative.

“BYU cares about their athletes, and their influence permeates throughout the world,” Herbert said.

He also pointed out, as was also noted in the official announcement, that BYU is located in the city and state with the best economic performance in the nation, according to the Milken Institute and the U.S. News and World Report.

“At the heart of Built4Life is our program’s commitment to foster a culture of love and learning, while assisting student-athletes in laying the foundation required for personal and economic prosperity beyond athletics,” BYU football head coach Kalani Sitake said.

In addition to the Built4Life initiative, BYU has previously announced a partnership with Opendorse, to provide student-athletes with educational and content-creation resources to enhance personal and professional branding on all social media platforms in preparation for Name, Image and Likeness rights.

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