A new program created by Visit Fresno County is highlighting Fresno County as a tourism destination by collaborating with Fresno State athletes who participate in Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) deals. 

Unleashed was launched this year, and is currently the only program of its kind. Visit Fresno County teamed up with Fresno State Athletics’ multi-media rights partner, Bulldog Sports Properties, to present these unique NIL deals to its collegiate athletes. Videos published at the end of April, feature athletes exploring local farmers' markets, hiking trails, and events.

Kosi Dean

“The program is a new way for us to expand our reach to audiences that may not have considered Fresno County as a tourist destination,” said Visit Fresno County President/CEO, Lisa Oliveira. “Our goal was to not only share the fun things to do in our community but also get the athletes excited about tourism in a way that also benefits them. It’s been great to see the impact they’ve had so far.”

No other destination management organization (DMO) has partnered with a college or university to market a destination in this way. Collegiate athletes have only been compensated for the use of their name, image, and likeness since 2021. The videos feature local, domestic, and international athletes who compete in various sports within Fresno State’s athletics program. Unleashed has garnered thousands of views and engagements in its initial launch, with more videos expected to be released soon.

Unleashed Logo

“The program has been a great experience and opportunity for me,” said Kosi Agina, Fresno State Football’s defensive back and the first student-athlete to join Unleashed. “I’ve even had several [people that I know] visit the places I have featured in my reels. I grew up in Fresno and attended Sanger High School and I am always trying to learn new things about this area. This has been one of my favorite NIL opportunities that I’ve participated in.”

To learn more about Unleashed, go to https://www.visitfresnocounty.org/ or follow us on social media.