Spry, a technology company that creates a way for colleges and student athletes to embrace the Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) movement, has announced an Advisory Board to support its mission of simplifying a complex problem, while addressing all the needs of multiple stakeholders.
The initial six members on Spry’s Advisory Board are:
- Christine Simmons – A graduate of UCLA, Christine Simmons became the Chief Operating Officer at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts in 2019. She was also formerly President and COO of the LA Sparks. In addition, Simmons has been named to the LA Business Journal’s 2016, 2017, and 2018 list of 500 most influential people in Los Angeles.
- Len Elmore – Len Elmore is a former All American basketball player for the University of Maryland, a 10-year veteran of the NBA, and a 31-year sports television personality. He received a law degree from Harvard Law School in 1987 and has been a practicing attorney for 25 years. Elmore is currently a Senior Lecturer at Columbia University’s Sports Management Program.
- Ron Wellman – With more than 30 years of intercollegiate athletics experience, Ron Wellman is best known as the long-time athletic director at Wake Forest University, where his programs won five national team championships and 22 ACC championships. He also served as the Chairman of the NCAA Basketball and was a recent recipient of the prestigious Homer Rice Award.
- Courtney Flowers – Courtney L. Flowers, Ph.D., is a DEI consultant and an Associate Professor of Sport Management at Texas Southern University. Her research and scholarship primarily focus on systemic gender and racial based forms of bias and prejudice in college sports. Dr. Flowers regularly contributes to the Legal issues in College Athletics journals and serves on the editorial board of The Journal of Athlete Development and Experience. She has 20 years of experience in college athletics and served as a Senior Academic Athletic Advisor for the University of New Mexico. She is also a former NCAA DI golfer who has worked for the United States Golf Association, The National Minority Golf Foundation, and The First Tee.
- Keith Martin — Keith Martin is a senior executive with more than 35 years of experience in strategic planning, Finance, operations, revenue deployment, and strategic marketing. Martin is a graduate and former student athlete at of the University of Kentucky and has extensive experience in intercollegiate athletics working at the NCAA and various committees.
- Ellen Zavian — Ellen Zavian is a Professorial Lecturer in Sports Law at George Washington University School of Law and GWU Sport Management Program. Professor Zavian is an expert in licensing/sports agreements and a frequent contributor to the Washington Post, Forbes, and serves as Editor-in-Chief of www. esportsandthelaw.com/ and https://mylegalbookie.com/. In a career that spans several decades, her career started at the NFLPA, becoming the first female agent/attorney in the NFL.
“We’re proud that these six professionals have recognized our platform’s ability to create unprecedented opportunities for student athletes, while providing compliance departments with a powerful tool to protect the interest of the college or university,” said Lyle Adams, the CEO and Founder of Spry. “These schools must protect the pre-existing corporate partnerships, while at the same time remain compliant with NCAA rules about improper benefits. In Spry, they can achieve all of these objectives.”
Adams believes that technology must be the centerpiece of any NIL solution, a concept that numerous colleges and university athletic departments have embraced. Wake Forest and Oral Roberts University are just two of the schools that deployed Spry’s platform.
Adams said he expects that more schools will announce that they are joining the Spry network in the coming days or weeks, as well as additional board members.
“We’re excited to be facilitating a new chapter in collegiate athletics,” said Adams. “The success of this chapter will fuel new, innovative technologies, like those that are the foundation of Spry.”