Kaylyn Bourque loves ice hockey so much that the 15-year-old wants to play for as long as possible — and at the highest levels.

Her father, Brian Bourque, is concerned that despite Kaylyn’s skills on the ice, it could be hard for a player from Benton in Kennebec County to capture the eye of collegiate coaches in her effort to play at a top college program, ideally with a scholarship.

He has sought the help of Augusta-based public relations professional Greg Glynn’s new venture, specializing in helping student-athletes to establish their brand and market themselves.

“I really love hockey and can’t imagine never playing it. If I had to stop playing hockey, I wouldn’t be very happy,” said Kaylyn Bourque, a standout player for the Winslow/Gardiner/Brewer/Messalonskee/Lawrence/Erskine Academy co-operative girls hockey team said.

Glynn, a former broadcaster and vice president of communications for the Portland Pirates of the American Hockey League, launched a marketing, public relations and broadcasting company, Pliable, in January, and plans to specialize in branding for high school, college and professional athletes.

The prospects of representing and branding college athletes jumped dramatically in 2020 with the ruling that colleges cannot prevent student-athletes from profiting from their own names, images and likenesses, and can reach endorsement deals with businesses.


While Glynn, 40, hopes to help college athletes strengthen their brand and market themselves, including for endorsement deals, his plans to help high school student-athletes, such as Kaylyn Bourque, are geared more toward helping them establish their brand and attract the attention of colleges, not car dealerships seeking athletes to endorse used automobiles.

Greg Glynn, founder of Pliable, a new marketing, public relations and broadcasting company in Augusta, at the Camden National Bank Ice Vault in Hallowell. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

“That’s not something I’d want to get into. I’d say there is a lot more high school athletes need to focus on before they focus on endorsements,” Glynn said. “For high school students, I want to help give them the education, the skills and tools to be successful at the next level.

“If I can tell the story of a kid who grew up playing hockey, in their backyard rink until 9 o’clock at night, there’s a work ethic and a story to be told there. Every athlete has a story, and I’m going to help the athlete tell their story so a coach sees this kid has an amazing story and would add to the culture of our team.”

Glynn offers student-athletes and their families a 10-step branding playbook of services, and customers can choose how many of those steps, each of which has a corresponding price, they want to purchase and use.

They begin with four steps, at $500 each: Meeting with the athlete and their family to create an athlete profile; conducting research including a review of their social media accounts and media coverage; creating a biography; and creating a “message map” that identifies concise key points the student-athletes want to make to be used, potentially, as talking points with coaches, recruiters, reporters and others.

Additional steps, which range between $1,000 and $2,000 each, include creating an athlete logo, media training, video and photography of the student-athlete, website design, website content management and launch and measurement of the impact the other steps have had toward their goals. All 10 steps total $10,000.


Brian Bourque said he expects Glynn’s athlete playbook will help Kaylyn gain the attention of Division 1 college coaches, whom he hopes will look at a website and logo Glynn will help them develop and appreciate she is someone who puts a lot of effort into what she does and is serious about playing Division I hockey.

“Athletes that live up here in Maine are really isolated from the big cities and don’t get the opportunity to be seen by Division 1 coaches, so they need a bit of an advantage,” Brian Bourque said. “She’s been playing hockey since she was in second grade, so this is an extreme passion for her, and you won’t find anybody who works harder than her.

“There is more to a person than stats. We want to help her stand out from the competition, with all the packages Greg has put together for us.”

Glynn said he is the first to specialize in branding and marketing student-athletes in Maine.

John Lamb, president of the Maine Public Relations Council, said he was not aware of any other public relations firms specializing in that area. He said the rules change at the college level allowing amateur student-athletes to take advantage of their names, images and likenesses is “a game changer for amateur athletes.”

Kaylyn Bourque works on her hockey skills in January 2021 at the ice rink in her front yard in Benton. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel file

“This being a relatively new area, it’s always good to have someone with expertise in branding to help an individual kind of identify their voice and personal brand,” Lamb said. “It’s certainly an opportunity for both practitioners and athletes. It’s exciting and should be interesting to watch.”


Glynn, who while working for Augusta-based Nancy Marshall Communications worked with Cony High School graduate and retired Olympic luger Julia Clukey while she served as spokesperson for the  Maine Beer & Wine Distributors Association, said he has developed a wide network of contacts in the sports industry. He also hosts The Athlete Brand Advisor Podcast.

Glynn’s new firm will also work with area businesses and organizations. He said the Pliable name reflects the company’s ability to adapt and work with a wide range of clients and be flexible.

A proposed bill before the state Legislature, L.D. 1893, “An Act Regarding the Use of A Student Athlete’s Name, Image, Likeness or Autograph,” has been referred to the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee and would prohibit colleges and universities from preventing a student athlete from earning money from the use of the student athlete’s name, image or likeness.

Glynn said the proposed legislation is in line with what other states have done, and allows student athletes to build their brand and profit from their name, image and likeness, “and that’s exactly where I can help them.”

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