VN Sports to Cultivate Athlete-Influencers on the high school and collegiate levels, disrupting the brand partnership industry

Advisor to the Chairman of the Toronto Blue Jays, Roger Rai, says “Viral Nation is one of the only companies with the backing and bespoke approach to enable athletes to use their influence correctly, guiding them on how to remain faithful to both their own brand and their sponsors.”  

TORONTO, ON – September 2, 2021–Viral Nation, the leader in Influencer Marketing, Technology, and Talent Management, launches its new division, Viral Nation Sports. In the new digital-first, influencer-oriented world, the new venture disrupts traditional talent management models, helping collegiate athletes cultivate long-term and relevant brand partnerships. 

The launch of VN Sports follows a June resolution by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), allowing college athletes to use their name, image, and likeness (NIL) to seek brand partnership and endorsement deals, previously available to athletes on the professional level. Viral Nation Group’s history in talent and influencer relations provides a strategic advantage for young athletes eager to break into the new normal of monetizing influence.  

Viral Nation has enlisted Professional Sports Marketing Industry heavyweights to execute the vision for VN Sports. Tapped as VN Sports Vice President, Mike Lecce joins Viral Nation with a decade of experience in commercial management and representation of professional athletes, including David’ Big Papi’ Ortiz, Alex Bregman, and Jose Bautista. Lecce will lead recruiting and brand partnerships for the division under the leadership of Viral Nation Group’s Executive Vice President Jonathan Chanti. 

Nutrition coach to professional athletes and celebrities including Drake, Steph Curry, and Imari Johnson, OVO Alonzo “Roxx” Thorne will work with Lecce and Chanti in securing brand partnerships for VN Sports Clients.  

“Our mission is to build one of the most inclusive, collaborative sports management divisions in the industry,” said Joe Gagliese, CEO and co-founder of Viral Nation Group. “Our new team of agents are the best in the business: dynamic and creative, their success speaks for itself. They understand that brand partnerships speak louder than ads and have raised the bar regarding client successes. They are trailblazers in the new world of athlete-influencer marketing.”  

Roger Rai, Special Advisor to the Chairman of the Toronto Blue Jays and Rogers Communications, joins Viral Nation Sports as an official strategic advisor. “The rules in our digital-first world change daily: navigating this environment while maintaining a personal brand requires tact and strategy. Athletes now have access to expertise from the pioneering company in influencer marketing and influencer talent representation, Viral Nation.” Says Rai. “Not every college athlete will graduate as a professional player; VN Sports creates life-long opportunities that weren’t always previously available.” 

To scale recruiting, the new division will partner with A2A Campus Recruitment. A2A is a group of college athletes, started by Seth Sugar with oversight from Bryan Sugar, who will support engaging and qualifying talent to join Viral Nation’s talent roster.  

 

About Viral Nation  

The global leader in social and influencer marketing, Viral Nation develops captivating marketing for top B2B and B2C brands. Viral Nation group boasts one of the fastest growth rates globally. Viral Nation Group comprises VN Talent, which represents celebrities and influencers; VN Tech, a marketing data and analytics platform; and VN Marketing, a full-service integrated marketing firm. Founded in 2014 by entrepreneurs and social marketing pioneers Mathew Micheli and Joe Gagliese, Viral Nation has been recognized as one of the fastest-growing companies in North America. For more information, visit www.viralnation.com

Instagram: @ViralNation 

Twitter: @ViralNationInc 

LinkedIn: Viral Nation Inc. 

Press Contact: 

Michael Kosowski, mkosowski@rubensteinpr.com 

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