About Branded a Leader
Branded a Leader (BAL) is a leadership program that teaches critical decision-making skills to student-athletes while challenging them to be responsible for their decisions and those of their teammates. BAL is a highly interactive training that engages student-athletes in unusually effective ways. BAL trainings are also utilized for coaches and staff.
Branded a Leader, created in 2008 by the National Consortium for Academics & Sports (NCAS),now officially the Institute For Sport & Social Justice (ISSJ) was developed in partnership with Michigan State University. Michigan State’s Student Athlete Support Services was seeking a training that would engage their student-athletes in educational discussions on key issues such as: Violence Against Women, Alcohol & Drugs, Hazing and Responsible Computing. The Southeastern Conference (SEC) adopted BAL as a conference-wide training initiative beginning in 2008.
Branded a Leader Goals
- Challenge participant thinking regarding these social aspects of their lives
- Empower participants with information and skills necessary to make good decisions and to confront peers
- Foster participant accountability for personal and peer behavior
- Create awareness and greater understanding of impact of decisions on a wide-range of brands
Branded a Leader Training
Branded a Leader utilizes the appeal of mainstream branding strategies as a foundation for student-athletes to discuss personal decisions and difficult social situations involving teammates. The program illustrates the impact of individual and institutional decision-making on a wide range of brands through case studies of various companies and individuals like LeBron James and Michael Vick.
BAL trainers lead student-athletes through the “brands” that they represent (family, hometown/country, institution, team, MLB, community, etc.) and have them articulate how a range of good decisions and bad decisions will likely impact each of their “brands.” Each segment of this training utilizes a specific aspect of decision-making skills, consequences and accountability for self, teammates and beyond.
Student-athletes develop a success plan for enhancing their “personal brand” and share with their teammates. Branded a Leader trainers challenge the student-athletes to hold each other accountable for their espoused success goals and for making good decisions. Their role as their teammates “keeper” will be reinforced through social scenarios where they will decide the best options for intervening on a teammate’s behalf.
BAL Training Options
- 4 Hour Awareness Raising Sessions
- Large Group Presentations
- Train the Trainer programs
Branded a Leader Topics
BAL can incorporate a range of topics into a training session. All Branded a Leader (BAL) discussions will focus on character, leadership and decision‐making. The respective Impacting Your Brand segments serve as the introduction to each session. BAL can incorporate a range of topics into a training session. They include:
Impacting Your Brand Segment 1
Stage 1 participants create their own brand and determine who the other “brands” are that they represent and impact with their decisions.
Impacting Your Brand Segment 2
Stage 2 participants identify their personal core “brand” values and grade themselves on how well they are behaving in line with their stated values. Their teammates offer feedback and examples of how well their teammate is doing as well.
Impacting Your Brand Segment 3
In stage 3, participants determine their short and long term personal goals as well as what they believe the team’s goals should be.
Impacting Your Brand Segment 4
Stage 4 asks student-athletes to consider the expectations the four core groups have for them: their team; their coaches; their teammates and their families. Lastly, they list the expectations they have for themselves.
Brand Changer Topics & Descriptions
BAL Training & Presentations
University of Alabama
University of Arkansas
University of Florida
New York Mets
University of Georgia
Louisiana State University
Michigan State University
University of Kentucky
University of Mississippi
Mississippi State University
University of South Carolina
Sigma Alpha Mu National Fraternity
University of Tennessee
D1A Athletic Directors Conference
University of Central Florida
SEC New Coaches Orientation
NASPA Annual Conference
University of South Florida
University of Richmond
University of Cincinnati
Florida State University
For more information or to schedule a training session, please fill out the form below.
Dr. Jeff O'Brien
P.O. Box 161400
Orlando, FL 32816