ONIT Athlete Taps Boise State’s Mike Walsh to Lead NIL Partnerships and Strategy

ONIT Athlete Taps Boise State’s Mike Walsh to Lead NIL Partnerships and Strategy

ONIT Athlete Taps Boise State’s Mike Walsh to Lead NIL Partnerships and Strategy

Veteran college athletics administrator brings award-winning experience in the NIL space

BOISE, Idaho - ONIT Athlete announced the addition of Mike Walsh to its leadership team as the company’s Senior Director of NIL Partnerships and Strategy. Walsh joins ONIT Athlete after more than 15 years in college athletic departments, most recently as Boise State’s Associate Athletic Director for Strategic Communications and Business Development. 

“We are delighted to welcome Mike Walsh to our team,” said Chad McCloud, CEO of ONIT Athlete. “His impressive background and extensive network within the college athletics landscape make him the ideal person to strengthen our university relationships and open new doors for student-athletes.”

ONIT Athlete will lean on Walsh’s expertise to develop partnerships with universities, collectives, licensing agencies, student-athletes and their representatives, while also enhancing the company’s communications efforts internally and externally. Walsh will help set the strategy and direction of ONIT Athlete as the company endeavors to become the preeminent trading card, collectible and fan engagement company for collegiate athletes and college sports fans.

Walsh built and led Boise State’s award-winning name, image and likeness (NIL) program. Under his direction, Boise State took home the award for the nation’s Best Institutional NIL Program at the inaugural NIL Summit in June 2022. Walsh was also named to On3's list of the Top 25 Most Influential Figures in NIL in September 2022, the only athletics administrator to make the list.

At Boise State, Walsh joined forces with Boise, Idaho-based ONIT Athlete to bring to life one of the school’s groundbreaking projects. In October 2022, through a partnership with Jacksons Food Stores, Boise State released the first trading card set featuring a college football program’s entire roster since the NCAA began allowing student-athletes to monetize their NIL attributes. It was the first officially-licensed trading cards produced by ONIT Athlete, which quickly expanded its portfolio. 

The company produced card sets for 24 football programs last fall and continues to roll out additional sports for its partner schools with no intention of slowing down. ONIT Athlete will introduce as many as 60 new teams this spring across baseball, softball and lacrosse.

In 2023, ONIT Athlete issued more than $1.6 million in royalty payments to college student-athletes for the use of their NIL in conjunction with trading cards and other high-quality print merchandise and collectibles. ONIT Athlete has set goals of working with 10,000 student-athletes in 2024 and paying more than $7 million in royalties to those athletes.

“I am extremely excited to join ONIT Athlete at such a pivotal time for not only the company’s growth potential but also how we can play a role in the changing landscape of college athletics,” Walsh said. “From my first meeting with ONIT I was inspired by the vision and admired their tenacity and drive. Together, I believe we can have a major impact on the next chapter of college sports.”

Walsh rose through the ranks of Boise State Athletics, starting as a graduate assistant in 2010, holding various positions within communications and media relations. His career also included a two-year stint at the University of Idaho, from 2017-19, where he directed all publicity efforts for the Vandals and ultimately oversaw marketing, ticketing and video before returning to Boise State. In addition to his role with Boise State’s NIL program, Walsh oversaw strategic communication, media relations, creative services and business development and revenue innovation for the Broncos.

Originally from Vancouver, Wash., Walsh earned his bachelor's degree in communication from Washington State University with an emphasis in journalism while spending three years as a student assistant in the athletic media relations office. He served as the secondary contact for the Cougars' men's basketball program from 2007-10. Walsh completed a master's degree in education, curriculum and instruction (physical education pedagogy option) from Boise State University.

Walsh is also a cofounder of ID43 Creative Inc., an Idaho-based creative agency that specializes in providing compelling and strategic content to growing businesses and organizations.

Walsh and his wife, Danielle, reside in Boise with their son, Drake, and daughter, Dilyn.

Reading next

ONIT Athlete Champion Colors cards 2023-24 (Washington, Alabama, Texas Football)
ONIT Athlete Nominated for Brand of the Year at NIL Awards

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.