Welcome to the Pioneer Exchange

Connect and work with athletes from
University of Denver
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What is the Pioneer Exchange?

The Pioneer Exchange is a student-athlete NIL business registry, custom-designed for businesses, donors, alumni, and any other interested NIL dollars wishing to connect with student-athletes. Registered businesses can search, filter, and initiate conversations with student-athletes to discuss an NIL deal. Once the NIL deal between a registered business and the student-athlete is completed, the business will use the  Pioneer Exchange to create a transaction that will produce a direct payment to the student-athlete (without any transaction fee) and automate a disclosure to the INFLCR Verified Compliance Ledger. The institution does not have to get involved in the deal and all transactions within the local exchange are consolidated into one 1099 at the end of the year for easier tax reporting purposes for registered businesses and athletes.


What is Name, Image & Likeness?

The NCAA recently created new and unprecedented brand partnership opportunities for student-athletes and local brands under its NIL (Name, Image, Likeness) rules. Now local businesses and national sponsors can enter into commercial agreements with University of Denver student-athletes.

In doing so, businesses and partners are supporting an athlete’s academic and business success and gaining positive visibility among students, fans, and alumni.

Does the state of Colorado have an NIL Policy?


How Can I Engage with Student-Athletes Through The Pioneer Exchange?

The new NIL rules allow student-athletes to engage in brand-focused activities, such as:

  • Autographs
  • Promoting brands on social media
  • Third-party media endorsements
  • Running camps or clinic
  • Providing private sport lessons
  • Personal appearances

Every NIL contract will be reviewed prior to acceptance to assure engagements do not violate NCAA rules, state law, and University of Denver NIL Protocols.

Can a University employee or coach help arrange a deal for an athlete?

No. University employees, including coaches and members of the athletics department, CANNOT negotiate deals or contracts. However, they can direct student-athletes to NIL-related opportunities on the "Pioneer Exchange."

May a business owner, fan and/or athletics donor enter into an agreement with a University of Denver student-athletes to use the student-athletes’ name, image, or likeness in exchange for money, goods, or services?

Yes. This is subject to the University of Denver NIL protocols. Before entering such a contract, the student-athlete is required to disclose any proposed contract for use of their NIL to the athletics compliance office. Please note, it is possible, and likely, that federal laws and NCAA legislation could change NIL governance and rules.  

Please note any NIL partnership with a student-athlete is a separate agreement and has no impact on your Pioneer Athletic Fund membership and/or annual giving level. Your personal agreement with a student-athlete is not considered a donation.  Consult with your tax advisor if your business agreement with the student-athlete is tax deductible.

Who should I contact if I’m interested in working with a University of Denver student-athlete or team?

You can begin by contacting the student-athlete directly through their social media accounts, many of which can be found on their bio pages on www.denverpioneers.com.  If you are not able to connect directly with a student-athlete, you may also email brandon.macneill@du.edu and the information will be routed by compliance to the student-athlete for their consideration.

University of Denver employees, including coaches and members of the athletics department are not permitted to negotiate NIL contracts or activities for student-athletes; however, they may help connect student-athletes and prospective employers and are allowed to forward information about legitimate NIL opportunities to student-athletes.

Your agreement with the student-athlete is a direct relationship between you and the student-athlete. The terms, time to implement, fulfillment, compensation/payments and all aspects of the agreement are managed between you and the student-athlete.

May a student-athlete receive NIL compensation based upon their athletic performance at the University of Denver?


Are there limitations on the compensation or opportunities that can be provided to a student-athlete for use of their NIL?

Yes. Limitations include:

  • Compensation for NIL use shall be commensurate with market value.
  • If the student-athlete is not a US citizen and the student-athletes visa generally prohibits employment
  • Conflict with certain institutional agreements held by the University of Denver.

Can University of Denver trademarks and logos or facilities be used in a NIL contract between a student-athlete and business?

Official University of Denver trademarks and logos, including photos of student-athletes in uniform, may only be used with prior written approval and a licensing agreement with the University of Denver office of trademarks and licensing (which may include royalty or licensing fees). Additionally, a facility use agreement is necessary if using university facilities. For more information contact brandon.macneill@du.edu 

Who do I contact if I want to advertise my business during an official team activity?

Denver Sports Properties is the exclusive rights holder for sponsorship opportunities and advertising with Denver Athletics, including in-venue signage, consumer promotions and official partnerships. Contact jon.boos@du.edu for more information.

Does the school or INFLCR take any revenue from NIL transactions in the Local Exchange?


Do you have to be an official university licensee to register?

No, but if you are interested in becoming an officially license partner, please contact Brandon Macneil at brandon.macneil@du.edu who will be able to get that process started. 

Who approves your request to register?

The University of Denver compliance office in conjunction with Denver Sports Properties will review and approve all requests to register. If you have any questions about your approval, contact Jason Kesner at jason.kesner@du.edu

How will I know when I am approved?

You should receive an email from the institution verifying your approval within 5-7 business days of submission.

When can I start contacting athletes and processing payments?

After being approved by the school, you will be able to immediately begin contacting athletes and processing payments.

Additional Resources

DU NIL Policy

Denver Sports Properties


State Law

Student-Athlete Group Licensing