While the NCAA, its member schools, Congress and individual states are all at different stages – not to mention points of contention – in passing and implementing the rules for name, image allowances and restrictions. and similar to varsity athletes, the players themselves have a dizzying array of possibilities awaiting them to capitalize on the notoriety gained on the athletic fields and courts of their respective institutions.
First and foremost, are product endorsements, in various forms. While the old print, TV and radio advertising standards were most often offered as examples during the first analysis of the impact of NIL, there are many other ways that athletes can participate and earn money. The ever-growing arena of social media influencers, in which even those with modest followers could earn $ 0.50 or more per subscriber per post, is a market that should soon be inundated.
A number of these athletes will win based on a large number of social media followers, with the expected personalities of football and men’s basketball being the choices that spring to mind. For example, in a recent study by U sporting director, the endorsement potential of former Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence would have been $ 390,000 during his last season with the Tigers.
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These two sports, however, do not have a stranglehold on the earning potential. Female athletes in gymnastics, basketball, volleyball, softball and tennis also have huge earning potential in social media arenas, as many of them have hundreds of thousands of subscribers. Some, such as Chloe Cluchey and Erica Fontaine, recent gymnastics graduates from WVU, have been listed by the U athletic director with earning potentials well in the six figures. Additionally, as previously reported, Mountaineer basketball alum Kysre Gondrezick has already signed an exclusive deal with Adidas.
However, simple endorsements are only one avenue for NIL capitalization. While the exact language of what will and will not be allowed remains to be determined in potential NCAA or Congressional rules, it is likely to be widely open. Athletes could start their own businesses with their own products. They could organize their own camps, or even set up private tutoring classes. (Imagine how many kids would sign up for a Major Harris football camp, or one-on-one instruction from Pat White.) They could create their own video channels, mixing ad-supported content with a subscription-only fee. They could sell autographs. The only limits, aside from a few “safeguards” offered by the NCAA, are the imagination of the athletes and their marketers.
With so many options available, athletes will be looking for advice. They will only be able to receive a part of their schools, which cannot participate in any way whatsoever in helping them to conclude agreements with agents or potential clients, or to participate in any way in the negotiations. What schools can do is provide general education in the process of branding and preparing athletes for life after college, although a number of these lessons can certainly be applied to the NIL process.
West Virginia was one of the first Division I schools in the country to enter these waters, announcing last year that its football program had partnered with brand marketing consultant and author Jeremy Darlow to educate Mountaineer players and develop their skills in growing their personal brands. . It was also the first college program to partner with the INFLCR to pilot an innovative Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) suite, which combines personalized reporting with digital education and content viewing for students- athletes, coaches and sports program social media accounts. This, in conjunction with the 5th Quarter program, led by Paige Diggs, aims to provide as much education as possible to prepare football players for the next NIL storm as well as life after the game.
Many schools have since followed WVU’s lead, but as with the entire NIL chart, the details of these are all over the map. How effective will these programs be? Are they created just to tick a box, to be able to answer “Yes, we are going to educate your sons and daughters on NIL issues?” “
Even in West Virginia, the picture is not clear. While the football program seems to have a good plan not only for NIL but also for the overall development aspect, it has yet to be extended to other sports. Of course, NIL is not yet a reality, but by July 1, it is evident that at least one NCAA-wide rule relaxation will be in place.
Another aspect of the NIL image for athletes is the selection of an agent or representative to help them develop and work on offers. The NCAA has long banned agent representation, so this expected allowance is going to be a major change for 18-22 year olds who will likely be making their first forays into what promises to be a very complex arena. Again, schools can provide basic education, but cannot be involved in any part of the representative screening or selection process, and concerns about unscrupulous actors in this area are one of many that athletes will face in the future.
Previously in the NIL series
NIL: sort and unify the rules | Name, image and likeness: an introduction