It’s been a long time coming, but finally college athletes can make money! A new NCAA policy allows student athletes to earn compensation by marketing their name, image, or likeness (NIL). This is a big shift in policy from the NCAA which has long banned college athletes from receiving any compensation other than tuition.
The new NIL rule will let student athletes earn income from licensing merchandise, podcasting, offering lessons, promoting brands, opening businesses, and other deals. In addition, student athletes can use their personal brands to earn money. Many athletes have a strong social media presence that can be leveraged into marketing brands and products.
On July 1st, hundreds of student athletes announced deals for NIL. Big winners right away were sisters Hanna and Haley Cavinder, basketball players at Fresno State who are now spokespersons for Boost Mobile. Auburn football players Bo Nix and Shaun Shivers also announced partnership deals (with Milo’s Tea and Yoke respectively).
Some athletes will be paid for appearances, others will endorse products for payments, and still others are launching merchandise lines. The deals are not necessarily tied to sports. Athletes are now able to earn income from gigs as musicians, designers, and artists also.
It’s important to note that of the hundreds of thousands of college athletes, many will not benefit from the NIL policy. Athletes still cannot be paid directly by colleges beyond their attendance costs, nor are athletes to be considered employees of the colleges. But the opportunities are now there and will certainly influence sports and business.
The times are indeed changing.
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
- Poll students: What is their opinion on the new NCAA policy that allow student athletes to profit off their name, image, and likeness?
- What are the positives and negatives for the policy?
- How will this policy impact marketing activities?
- Show video about the college athlete pay debate: https://youtu.be/q8dtMX_wXNY
- Show Open Sponsorship website: https://opensponsorship.com/
- Divide students into teams. Have each team develop ideas on how businesses could use college athletes in their marketing.
Source: Ad Week; Assoc. Press; CNBC; NBC Sports; New York Times; other news sources