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Complexities of NIL

Name, Image and Likeness, how does an Athletic Department begin to address the complex changes that will occur when Legislation is live? The shift in decades old NCAA policy will affect Universities and Student Athletes on every level. As Institutions plan for the future, the responsibility of overseeing these new opportunities will primarily fall directly on the desks of Athletic Directors and Compliance Staff. Athletic Departments that are forward thinking and pivot early will have the most success in a seamless transition to communicate and guide Student Athletes. This is our focus at Spry. We believe it’s important to prepare Student Athletes and Athletic Departments with the tools necessary to be successful in the new era of NIL.

The complexities of NIL have been voiced by ADs across the country. Rising to the top of the list of challenges are:

  • Institutional vs. Individual Sponsor conflicts
  • Student Athlete Compliance – time management, NCAA limits
  • Approvals for Student Athlete opportunities – how does this process work
  • Education: How do we education our Student Athletes

Institutional / Ethical Conflicts

Athletic Departments of all sizes rely on sponsor dollars for the success of their programs. Conflicts between school sponsorship and individual sponsorship opportunities are a large concern regarding NIL. The ability to identify relationships between existing university contracts and collegiate-athlete opportunities and quickly/efficiently approve or deny incoming requests will allow Athletic Departments to navigate this new territory. Spry believes that a transparent environment for Student Athletes and compliance staff to communicate is critical to the success of moving forward with NIL.

Student Athlete Compliance

What limitations will be set by the NCAA and then passed to the University Athletic Departments to enforce? With Spry, Athletic Departments and Student Athletes will know that they are compliant with the rules. Spry provides peace of mind for Students Athletes so they can focus on the things that matter. Depending on the restrictions in place at each Institution, Spry will set approval parameters within our custom platform. (Limits may be different based on D1,D2, D3 or NAIS standards.) Using Spry’s mobile application, Student-Athletes can easily learn about the NIL rules and regulations while University/Athletic Departments provide the necessary support so all parties remain compliant and more importantly eligible.

Approvals

Great news, a Student Athlete has received an opportunity to capitalize on their name, image or likeness. Now what? First, the Student Athlete can use Spry’s Fair Market Value calculator to determine if they are being offered an equitable opportunity . If the Student Athlete is comfortable with the terms of the deal they can proceed through the disclosure and approval process. Through specific, thoughtful programming, the Spry platform will intuitively consider any NCAA and Institution conflicts – such as working with a tobacco company – and send an alert to the Institution’s compliance office. Thus Spry can ensure that Student Athletes and Institutions will remain within NCAA and Institution parameters.

Student Athlete Education

Spry is an innovative platform that can address the burdens that will be placed on Athletic Departments as new rules are put into place. The platform at Spry was developed with the Student Athlete in mind, educating Student Athletes through targeted classes, webinars and tailored programming will give Institutions the peace of mind that their educational content is easily accessible. Athletic Departments will have the ability to send their modules to student-athletes using Spry’s mobile app. With the help of industry experts, we’ve created a database of cohesive education assets to ensure success. Compliance staff will start the NIL conversations within the Athletic Department and have the opportunity to thoughtfully guide Student Athletes through new regulations.

Conclusion

The opportunities that will result from NIL Legislation are endless. Student Athletes, Institutions and businesses who see the value in NCAA athletes will see exciting benefits as the NCAA moves forward with implementing NIL. The first few years of these new partnerships and deals will set the foundation for how each Institution is recognized in the NIL conversation. The Spry platform will ease the growing pains for Athletic Departments, allowing Student Athletes to celebrate their new opportunities.

sarah knysh

About the Author

Sarah Knysh

SPORTS MARKETING EXPERT WITH OVER 17 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE