Happy Bye Week! This week I had a chance to catch up with Nic Weishar about the company (YOKE) he co-founded two years ago with Mick Assaf, and about his time playing football at Notre Dame, too.
What is YOKE you ask?
Access to Athletes
YOKE is a platform that 15k+ athletes engage with for NIL (Name, Image, and Likeness) opportunities. Our database covers athletes from every sport and university in the country. Athletes on YOKE have more than 500M cumulative followers and cover a wide variety of regions and interest. Our network and technology allows us to build and manage large-scale athlete ambassador campaigns.
We’ll help you sort through college athletes on YOKE to identify ambassadors that make sense for your campaign. Once we understand your goals, we’ll facilitate communication and logistics with athletes so you can focus on what you do best.
Our team has executed multiple NIL campaigns with publicly traded companies and has experience working through the different layers of these campaigns. We’ve done it all from finding which athletes make sense for a brand to ensuring deliverables are reached and that performance is tracked.
YOKE collects feedback from ambassadors and analytics from their social posts. This allows us to quantify the impact your campaign is making and gain insights into how we can improve it moving forward.
What made you want to start this company?
I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit and I wanted to be able to work on something where I could directly feel the impact that my decisions caused. Mick and I were roommates my last season and we were always trying to come up with ideas to make into a business. I graduated and was training for the NFL when Mick called me with an idea. His original idea was to connect celebrities and their fans via Facetime through an app. I loved the idea and hopped on board in a part time fashion. After our testing and initial product, we found great success with fans wanting to play video games with athletes. We put a lot of our focus into making this a great product (www.yokegaming.com). Because of the great success we have had with athletes gaming with fans, many brands have come to us and asked how we can help them work with our 15k+ athletes. YOKE Team (www.yoketeam.com) allows us to bring paid sponsorship/branded opportunities to our network of athletes.
What is your favorite Notre Dame football memory?
My favorite on the field memory was my first touchdown against Temple. Off the field, some of my favorite memories came from all of my teammates attending WeishFest from 2015-2019.
What advice would you give to a high school athlete looking to play football at the Division I level?
I like to tell high school kids with aspirations of playing at the D1 Level to not wish for it, work for it. Being able to play at the D1 level is a privilege that should be earned. Develop a work ethic in high school that has you getting there earlier and staying later than everyone else. Let coaches know they can count on you to be a leader in everything you do, most importantly in the classroom.
Last one ... do you have a funny Coach Kelly story?
Funny Coach Kelly story: after my first touchdown catch Coach Kelly was the first to greet me on the sideline celebrating and calling me “the vacuum” because I made a nice grab. Later in the locker room he let me know I headbutted him with my helmet on but I didn’t realize it because I was so excited lol.
And there you have it! Enjoy the bye week, all!
Cheers & GO IRISH!