Dare to Disrupt

Dare to Disrupt Episode 26: Exploring Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) with Former NFL Player Omar X. Easy

Omar X. Easy, Ph.D., is the recently appointed director of the all-new Penn State Brand Academy. The Brand Academy, a project recently launched by Invent Penn State in partnership with Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics and funded through the Wally Triplett Brand Academy Endowment, is designed to support student-athletes to manage and leverage their personal brand, name, image and likeness (NIL), and support their entrepreneurial interests more successfully.

In this episode, Omar shares his experience growing up in Jamaica and moving to the United States as a teenager. He shares lessons learned from his time as a student-athlete at Penn State as well as his time in the NFL, where he played as a running back for the Kansas City Chiefs and the Oakland Raiders. He then discusses his vision for The Brand Academy and how it will serve student-athletes in building and leveraging their personal brand.

At the end of the episode, current Penn State student Miranda Heffelfinger joins the conversation. She is the captain and president of the Penn State women’s rugby team. She talks to Omar about how The Brand Academy will eventually serve all student-athletes, as well as how The Brand Academy will set student-athletes up for success to continue to benefit from NIL post-graduation.

Episode Chapters

0:00 – 7:43 From Jamaica to the U.S.

7:43 – 13:13 Learning football

13:13 – 17:52 Choosing Penn State

17:52 – 21:45 Penn State football experience

21:45 – 26:50 NFL experience

26:50 – 31:45 Back to PS for Masters and Ph.D.

31:45 – 43:07 The Brand Academy, Name Image and Likeness (NIL)

43:07 – 48:26 Student-athlete questions for Omar

About Omar X. Easy

Omar is the Assistant Athletics Director and Director of The Penn State Brand Academy. He received his B.A. degree in broadcast journalism in 2001 from Penn State. He also received both his Master of Education in the field of education administration and his Ph.D. in educational leadership from Penn State. He earned a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Phoenix in 2010. 

Download full episode transcript

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | YouTube Music | Spotify

Dare to Disrupt is a podcast about Penn State alumni who are innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders, and the stories behind their success. Learn more.