Aztecs SDSU Sports Athletics
Snapdragon Stadium before a September 2023 football game. Photo credit: @SnapdragonStdm via X

San Diego State has re-positioned the athletics department’s Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) initiative and added a coordinator to assist athletes.

Formerly known as Aztec Advantage, the program now will be called Aztec NIL, while maintaining a focus on assisting student-athletes through personal and professional development.

In addition, SDSU has appointed new NIL coordinator Brenden Hill, who most recently led internal strategy for one of the nation’s most successful NIL marketing agencies, Triumph NIL.

“San Diego State has a long tradition of notable athletes that have developed Hall of Fame brands here on the Mesa,” Hill said. “Combining that legacy with the momentum we have built in a commercially viable market like San Diego, there is no doubt that we are well positioned to create a dynamic Name, Image and Likeness eco-system here in America’s Finest City.”

The Aztec NIL program will introduce mentorship, creativity and empowerment as three core values.

Athletic director John David Wicker said it is important that “San Diego State graduates well-rounded people who will go on to make a positive impact on society.” The new approach to the NIL program pairs well with other department programs, he said.

“Our re-imagined program will complement our approach to student-athlete development and Brenden is the right person to lead our internal strategy while supporting our student-athletes,” Wicker said.

Colleges and universities embarked on NIL efforts following the NCAA’s July 2021 decision to allow athletes to market themselves to the public.

Schools cannot pay them, but they now may market themselves without being subject to NCAA penalties. The landmark change followed a Supreme Court ruling against the NCAA and decisions by several state legislatures to side with athletes who sought more freedom to benefit from their college play.

Hill plans to raise awareness regarding the benefits of NIL to fans, alumni and the local business community.

“NIL is a great resource for student-athletes as they navigate real life situations,” Hill added. “They are not immune to cost-of-living expenses and other challenges navigating this ever-evolving space. I’m excited to work in partnership with our student-athletes as well as to better inform our alumni and supporters as to how they can participate.”

Elements of the program include:

  • The extension of a partnership with NIL technology company Opendorse. The tech platform allows student-athletes to disclose their NIL activity for compliance in addition to serving as a one-stop shop where fans can purchase video messages, request autographs/appearances, and brands can make offers.
  • Opendorse also will introduce a branded landing page for businesses interested in leveraging student-athletes NIL alongside SDSU logos, marks and IP.
  • Aztec NIL will work to increase social media content in collaboration with team accounts to assist student-athletes in “showcasing their unique talents and brand personality.”
  • Campus Ink has recently introduced expanded products through their SDSU NIL Store, including custom jerseys and signature releases. Fans can expect additional vendors to be added to increase the availability of officially licensed products.
  • There will be an increased investment in programming to aid student-athletes with their knowledge of tax issues, budgeting, and financial planning, in partnership with regional and national service providers.
  • Student-Athletes will be able to work with the campus incubator, Zip Launchpad, to partner with start-ups to leverage their social currency or professional skills, or to develop their own ideas.

Connect with Aztec NIL on social media @Aztec_NIL. For more information, email the NIL coordinator with any SDSU NIL questions at For brands seeking more information, contact Eric Del Carmen, a vice president at JMI Sports,