LEXINGTON, Ky. – TJ Beisner, who has over 15 years of media, communications and digital marketing experience, has been appointed director of player development for the Kentucky Men’s Basketball Program, a new position that oversee the execution of all elements of the student-athlete off-court experience, including key areas of player well-being and player branding.
Under the direction of the British men’s basketball head coach Jean Calipari, Beisner – along with the Kentucky Brand and Content Team and the Kentucky Road Initiative – will lead and support the Wildcats’ branding strategy in the new era of name, image and likeness , will monitor all changes in NCAA legislation and trends in varsity athletics to develop strategies and solutions to keep Kentucky at the forefront of varsity basketball, organize and manage program involvement in community service, provide support to players on issues other than basketball and develop team-wide events focused on educating student-athletes on personal and professional development.
“This position is going to play a major role in the next phase of Kentucky basketball,” Calipari said. “Our player-centric approach remains the foundation of this program and we wanted to take a concerted and strategic approach to what this means in all facets of our program. Helping our players grow their brand, bring our players into the community, helping us educate them on key issues, providing off-court support to our children and their parents, alumni relations, TJ will serve as our off-court director.
“Kentucky is expected to be the best in the country when it comes to branding, player well-being and development. TJ has been a key part of this program in recent years in his role with JMI and as editor-in-chief of CoachCal.com and I know he’s ready to take on that responsibility. “
Beisner has worked closely with the Kentucky Men’s Basketball Program and UK Athletics since May 2018 as Director of Digital Media and Content Development for UK Sports & Campus Marketing. Beisner was responsible for the production management and asset development of the University of Kentucky and UK Athletics and worked directly with university and athletic partners to develop creative storytelling and branded media projects while managing the UK official radio and television partners. Under Beisner’s leadership, the UK Sports Network transformed the official TV partnership and launched a model that gives the University of Kentucky one of the strongest local TV presences in the country.
As part of his role at JMI Sports, Beisner was the editor-in-chief of CoachCal.com and assisted in the creation of social media and content for Calipari’s digital platforms.
“There is no place like the University of Kentucky,” Beisner said. “As a student it changed my life. As a parent I have seen the university and UK Athletics do the same for my son. I am delighted to join the staff of Coach Calipari and have the opportunity to support and make an impact on the one-of-a-kind college experience you can only have at the University of Kentucky. I absolutely look forward to doing my part to ensure that the British basketball remains the gold standard of this new era of varsity athletics. “
Prior to joining JMI Sports, Beisner hosted Kentucky Sports Television and was editor of the Kentucky Sports Radio website. He will be an assistant instructor at the College of Communication and Information at the University of Kentucky for the next academic year.
One of Beisner’s main responsibilities will be to work in coordination with the UK’s large athletics department to develop a first-class NIL program that maximizes opportunities for student-athletes and aligns with the goals of the ‘University of Kentucky. Overseeing NCAA legislation and operating under current state NIL rules, Beisner will help develop player-specific branding plans to maximize the profile of a student-athlete.
The well-being of the players will be at the heart of the position of Director of Player Development. Community service opportunities, team-wide events focused on education and personal career development, and student-athlete support will be Beisner’s daily goals.
Beisner will also be responsible for identifying opportunities throughout the Kentucky Men’s Basketball Program for development and improvement and presenting solutions and strategies that move the program forward, including but not limited to. limit, new media partnerships, summer camps, clothing, creative programming ideas and on-campus events.
It should start later this month.