As a Division-I athletics director, Bognar is constantly juggling multiple responsibilities. Her personal life is incredibly busy with sky-high ambitions, academically challenging degree, frequent business trips around the country, relationships to maintain, and a successful company to continue to build upon. Despite all these competing demands, she has had to figure out how to balance her time effectively.
One of the biggest benefits of NIL (Name, Image, and Likeness) for student-athletes is the ability to capitalize on their popularity outside of their sports. This allows them to create meaningful, personal relationships with their own fan bases. According to Bognar, this has already proven true for Illinois swim and dive as the ripple effect of Top Tier Lessons is paying major dividends. She has had parents reaching out personally to ask when their meets are, stating that their kids want to go see their coaches. This is significant because swimming and diving is not a sport that typically attracts many people from the community to come watch.
Bognar wants to change that by getting more people involved in non-revenue sports. By leveraging NIL opportunities for student-athletes in these sports, she hopes to increase fan engagement and generate more revenue for the university’s athletics department. With her busy schedule and ambitious goals ahead of her, Bognar knows that balancing all these demands will be no easy task. But by utilizing NIL effectively and building strong relationships with her athletes and fans alike, she believes that anything is possible.