About the Illini Pop-Up Store

Spearheaded the creative development and launch of Chicago's inaugural NIL store for Campus Ink, a pioneering project that enables fans to directly buy athlete-branded merchandise, such as Kofi Cockburn jerseys. This initiative not only deepened the bond between fans and athletes but also positioned our brand at the leading edge of the NIL movement. By introducing this unique concept, we underscored our dedication to athlete empowerment and enhanced fan engagement, thereby setting a new standard in the industry.​​​​​​​ This store ultimately lead to the birth of the NIL Store which has 10,000 athletes and over 60+ e-commerce stores.
Fusing Heritage with Modernity
My approach was to blend the storied history of the University of Illinois with cutting-edge digital elements. The inclusion of QR codes for expanded online merchandise offerings was a testament to our innovative approach, ensuring the store catered to both traditional shoppers and the digitally savvy.
From Concept to Reality
The execution was a masterclass in adaptive design, featuring on-demand printing capabilities that allowed for real-time customization, including printing blank jerseys on the spot. This flexibility not only streamlined operations but also created a personalized shopping experience, reflecting my vision for a dynamic and responsive retail environment.
Original Concept
Space before the NIL Store
The Build
The store featured autographed memorabilia that each of the players signed, unique apparel, tournament shirt, customized jerseys.
Connecting Fans and Athletes
The store was more than a retail space; it was a community hub where fans could directly support their favorite athletes through their purchases. The design facilitated an immersive experience, allowing fans to feel a part of the athletes' journeys, further deepening the bond between the University of Illinois community and its athletes.
A New Era for Athlete Merchandising
The pop-up store not only achieved significant sales but also paved the way for future NIL ventures, proving the concept's viability. With Campus Ink returning substantial royalties to the athletes, the project underscored the potential for similar initiatives to thrive, marking a significant milestone in the evolution of athlete merchandising and NIL opportunities.
Fan Support
The Team
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