Icon (Close Menu)


Chris Bauer Chosen to Lead Razorbacks NIL Collective

2 min read

Former Acxiom executive Chris Bauer has been chosen to lead Arkansas Edge, the University of Arkansas collective that supports name, image and likeness, or NIL, opportunities for Razorbacks athletes.

Bauer, a Hot Springs native and U of A alumnus, spent 12 years leading marketing strategy and client engagement at Acxiom. Most recently, he was vice president of marketing at global advertising agency Kinesso, a subsidiary of publicly traded Interpublic Group of New York.

In his new role as executive director of Arkansas Edge, Bauer will lead the collective in driving new fundraising and membership growth, developing corporate partnerships, managing the collective’s team and the relationship with the athletic department, and serving as the collective’s public face.

He assumes the role as NIL compensation becomes an increasingly important factor in the success of college athletics programs, particularly for recruiting and keeping athletes. Hunter Yurachek, U of A athletics director, has said NIL is “integral to the success of our program.”

In a statement, Yurachek said a native Arkansan and U of A alum like Bauer understands the state’s passion for the Razorbacks.

“His knowledge of our fanbase and state paired with his professional background make him the ideal choice to lead Arkansas Edge,” Yurachek said. “We are thrilled to welcome him back to The Hill and excited for the impact he and his team will have on our student-athletes and our success overall.”

Bauer holds a master’s in business administration from Duke University, a master’s in science from Clemson University and a bachelor’s in marketing from the University of Arkansas. In Fayetteville, he was a member of the Razorback Marching Band.

The university unveiled the collective in November with a launch goal of acquiring 5,000 fans to become members at $50 per month, and another 5,000 to become members at $100 a month. The U of A said it had already received a $1 million gift that would match the first $1 million raised.

The collective is a partnership with Blueprint Sports of Las Vegas, a company that has agreements to develop NIL collectives with 20-plus schools, including Tennessee, Penn State, Kansas and Kansas State. Arkansas Edge replaced the OneArkansas Collective, the athletic department’s original NIL initiative that launched in August 2022

The U of A has said donations to Arkansas Edge are tax deductible, but the IRS has cast doubt on whether such contributions qualify.

Send this to a friend