CEL Venture Accelerator students and several varsity athletes and coaches heard from Danny Morrissey, the co-founder of Postgame, the number one Name, Image, Likeness (NIL) agency in college sports, last week as part of the fall CEL entrepreneurial speaker series. Students walked away with a deeper understanding of what it means to be an “opportunity seeker”—one of the core tenets of the CEL entrepreneurial mindset.
As a former college athlete (before NIL), Morrissey, who played basketball for Penn State, was well aware of how college athletes might benefit from NIL. After college, he worked in finance, for a venture capital firm, and in retail e-commerce, giving him a unique perspective on brand marketing.
“I knew NIL would be a thing in late 2019,” he said. “Mark Emmert, president of the NCAA at the time, had talked about it a lot. I knew this was coming because I paid attention. I knew, as a former athlete, what that would look like and I knew brand marketing, so I brought those things together."
He and his co-founder launched Postgame in April 2020 to help college athletes “take advantage” of their time “after the game” or “postgame.” Morrissey said he understood brands and his partner understood how to build community. “Find a partner with equal passion who puts in equal effort,” he advised CEL students.
Although it would be a year and a half before they made a profit, their partnership allowed them to continually grow their community through athlete referrals and by understanding (and selling) the importance of college athletics to brands. Postgame now has more than 70,000 athletes in its community and works with large brands such as Crocs, Crocs, HEY DUDE, Adidas, URBN, McDonald's, and others.
Despite the company’s success, says Morrissey, he’s made mistakes in his career. His advice to students? “Try. Go. Make mistakes. Just try.”