Making History, and Passing on the Lessons Learned, Are All in a Day's Work for This Ivan Allen College Alumnus

Posted September 13, 2023

When Antwan Owens, HTS 2021, signed a deal for advertisers to use his name and image in July 2021, he made history as the first NCAA athlete to monetize his career legally. Now, he's chalking up another first: being named as a member of Forbes' inaugural 30 Under 30 Atlanta list. 

Owens, 24, was highlighted for his company, The Owens Group Consulting. Through it, he uses his experience as a student-athlete navigating the murky financial waters of endorsement deals, limited liability corporations, and taxes to help others ink deals and do the same. 

"A lot of these guys are young, and this is their first time in the world of business," Owens said. "So, they just look for that guidance, and I try to provide it for them."

Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) contracts are a new generation of endorsement deals, and Owens' work reflects that in the companies he chooses to work with. While some might assume athletes work with traditionally sports-related brands such as Nike or Under Armour, Owens connects his clients with artificial intelligence and technology companies. 

"Georgia Tech definitely sparked my interest in technology and how technology interacts with the world itself," Owens said. "But I would say the other half is just being young and innovative because tech is a part of our generation and our era. It has been ingrained in every aspect of our daily lives."

Owens focuses on ownership for the athletes he works with, helping them invest in the startups they partner with and thus have a say in the companies' future.

"We want to bring something to the table that's innovative rather than just being a model or brand ambassador," Owens said. "We're able to have leverage in terms of talking to these companies and seeing where we can fit in in terms of percentage or equity so that we're actually tied into the company, and we have the best interests of not only ourselves but the partnering company as well," he explains.

Owens graduated from the Ivan Allen College with a degree in History, Technology, and Society, which he says is “something I use every day.”

During his time in the School of History and Sociology, Owens discovered a passion for studying geographical data and analyzing the demographic breakdown of areas. Coming from Tallahassee, Florida, a city with one of the most segregated school districts in the state, Owens said he appreciates the importance of education and, even more critically, passing it along to others. That's the core of what he does with his work. 

"The deals that these guys are closing and the money they're seeing now, if they invest it the right way, it can set them up even before their professional aspirations. It's something that they can use right now to put them in a better position later, whether it's them opening up their own businesses or organizations or anything of that sort," Owens said. "So I think it's important that they understand the tools and the parameters of everything they're getting into, and then from there, they can make an educated decision on every move they make afterward."

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Antwan Owens, center, poses in Times Square on the day he signed his NIL deal.

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