The NIL opportunity

July 7, 2021


After years of advocacy, the NCAA will now allow its athletes to profit off their own personas – a huge monetization opportunity for college athletes previously excluded from the ability to have endorsement deals. 

The change went into effect July 1st following Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear's executive order allowing college athletes to be compensated for the use of their name, image and likeness, or "NIL."

The new rule will allow athletes to make money for things like endorsement deals, signing autographs, and social media content. 

This shift will allow college or “amateur” athletes to: 

  • Sponsor social media posts or advertisements
  • Sponsor videos on Twitter and YouTube
  • Coach lessons and summer camps
  • Sell autographs and merchandise 
  • Hire agents to help them negotiate the new NIL world 

Here’s what some of the deals look like so far: 

  • Unilever has committed to spending $5 million over the next five years signing marketing deals with college athletes to promote Degree deodorant
  • Arkansas wide receiver Trey Knox (and his husky) signed with PetSmart
  • Haley and Hanna Cavinder, twin basketball players at Fresno State, have signed with Boost Mobile and Six Star nutrition.
  • GoPuff offered a small social media sponsorship deal to every single college athlete – and already, hundreds have participated. 
  • Nebraska volleyball player Lexi Sun launched an apparel collaboration with REN Athletics.

This opens up a whole new category of branding, sponsoring, and influencer relationships. 

There's a HUGE opportunity here for brands!

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