For decades, the only way for promising college athletes to profit from their talent and fame was by going pro. That was until July 1, 2021.
On July 1, the NCAA's new name, image, and likeness (NIL) policy went into effect, allowing college athletes across the nation “to benefit from their name, image, and likeness” by signing endorsement deals. Minutes after the clock struck midnight, athletes across the country started signing endorsements.
Although the path to the NIL law was rocky and filled with claims of increased opportunity of recruiting advantages and antitrust law violations, the NCAA adopted an interim rule change for NIL activity, instructing schools to determine their own NIL policies and blowing the doors wide open for talented student-athletes to profit from their hard work, dedication, and skill in their chosen sport.
How NIL Law Benefits Athletes
There are several ways in which student-athletes (in adherence with their state and school’s NIL policies) can benefit from new NIL laws, and not all of them are purely monetary.
According to Shenandoah University’s VP of opportunity development, Dr. Fritz Polite, NIL offers student-athletes a unique advantage to look at themselves as a brand, helping to empower athletes to be and do their best during their collegiate athletic career, from Division I athletes down to Division III.
Monetarily speaking, NIL means athletes can accept brand endorsements, monetize their social media platforms, and work with professional entities to coordinate such deals. Some athletes, like Marshall University offensive tackle Will Ulmer even used NIL rules to launch music careers, while other collegiate football stars like University of Iowa’s Jordan Bohannon and Wisconsin Badger’s Graham Mertz launched their own clothing lines.
How Student-Athletes (and Brands) Are Taking Advantage of NIL
The list of NIL partnerships is long and is only getting longer (and more lucrative) with the passing of time. Here are a few examples:
Among the most notable NIL partnerships to take place include University of Alabama’s Bryce Young, who scored a partnership with Cash App that, according to coach Saban, has put young Bryce in the ballpark of $1 million in profits. Then there is University of North Carolina’s Sam Howell and Clemson’s D.J Uiagalelei, who agreed to endorse one of the South’s most popular fast-food chains, Bojangles.
When she is not perfecting her moves on the gymnastics mat, LSU Tiger’s gymnast Olivia Dunne is building her social media following with a Vuori activewear partnership, with dozens of other partnership opportunities lining up at her door. Meanwhile, University of Georgia gymnast Rachel Baumann and Georgia Tech quarterback Jordan Yates signed a NIL deal with the Atlanta Braves, making the Braves the first MLB team to partner with college athletes.
In September 2021, TiVo offered an endorsement deal to every Yellow Jackets football player. The 90 team members who accepted received thousands in products, cash payments, and exclusive TiVo silk pajamas in exchange for two social media posts by each player. TiVo continues its support of Georgia Tech with its commitment to Georgia Tech’s athletic department, contributing a total of more than $100,000 in technology, furniture, and endorsement deals.
Support Student Athlete’s Goals With We Sell Mats™ Fitness Flooring
As a new dawn emerges for the rights of student athletes’, young athletes dream of the opportunity to make their name known both in the arena and through exclusive brand partnerships.
No matter what you, your child’s, or your student-athlete’s aspirations may consist of, help them train in confidence with We Sell Mats™ best selling fitness mats ready to go the distance in their dedicated training routine. Shop We Sell Mats™ fitness mats and floor tiles today and give your student-athletes of any age the support they need to work towards their ultimate goals.