Monetizing Military Service

On September 1, the United States Air Force Academy announced a partnership between its athletics department and a private technology company aimed at building academy athletes’ “personal brands.” The same announcement notes that the private company ordinarily aims to “maximize” athletes’ “endorsement value.”

When I contacted USAFA’s athletics department, a spokesperson told me that the deal received legal review, and that Air Force athletes are not permitted to “have endorsements” as federal employees. However, a brief review of social media suggests that the Air Force Academy might enforce this policy loosely, if at all.

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