What is an individual sport?

An individual sport is a sport in which the competitive activity is performed by a single participant.

What are some examples of individual sports?

Women’s Bowling, Gymnastics, Track and Field, Indoor and Outdoor, Cross Country, Rifle, Women’s Triathlon, Women’s Equestrian, Skiing, Wrestling, Fencing, Swimming and Diving, Golf, Tennis

What is intellectual property?

Intellectual property (IP) is a category of property that refers to intangible creations of human intellect and the mind, such as inventions, literary and artistic works, designs, symbols, names, and images. The most-known types of intellectual property are copyrights, patents, trademarks, and trade secrets. However, in relation to collegiate sports, NIL is nothing but intellectual property. Student-athlete’s IP includes their Name, Image, and Likeness. Ensuring proper legal protection for a student-athelete’s brand is paramount.

Can a student-athlete profit off of their intellectual property?

As of June 30, 2021, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I, II, and III sports adopted an interim policy allowing student-athletes to receive compensation for their name, image, and likeness, also known as their personal brand and personal IP. All student-athletes across the country, including NJCAA and NAIA athletes can now earn money from their social media accounts or participating in advertising.

Does a school’s brand extend to their student-athletes?

It is still the early days of NIL regulation and colleges and universities are split on whether to allow its student-athletes to use the institution’s intellectual property. A school’s IP includes things such as logos, the mascot, and jerseys. Schools may fear that if a student-athlete, for example, appears in a commercial wearing their school jersey that not only is the student-athlete endorsing the product, but that the school is also approving it. However, if a school denies all use of it’s IP or makes the conditions of use too stringent, students and parents may choose not to attend these institutions. Schools that do allow use of it’s intellectual property often have restrictions. Since the implementaiton of NIL regulation, schools are working to provide training on how student-athletes can appropriately use the institution’s branding on social media and in NIL activities.

How can a student-athlete build their IP or personal brand?

One way for a student-athlete to build on their intellectual property and personal brand is to trademark their name or catch-phrases. Trademarking their name allows the student-athlete to control how their name is used and to defend against unauthorized use of their names as well. Trademarking a catch-phrase or slogan gives the student-athlete the exclusive right to profit from the slogan and control its use.

What is an in-kind payment?

An in-kind payment, sometimes called a payment-in-kind (PIK), is when the use of a good or service is given as payment instead of cash.

Are NCAA students allowed to accept in-kind payments?

Student-athletes are allowed to receive payments that result from legitimate employment arrangements or legitimate NIL opportunities. In-kind NIL payments that are made in lieu of cash, would be permissible, provided they result from a legitimate business transaction or employment opportunity. As a general rule, a student-athlete should not be compensated in a manner that is inconsistent with non student-athlete employees. If an in-kind payment arrangement has been created specifically for a student athlete, the compliance office should review the circumstances to ensure that the arrangement is permissible under NCAA rules.

Do scholarships count as payments in-kind?

Athletic scholarships are not considered to be an in-kind payment since athletic scholarships are cash payments that are made either directly to the student-athlete or to their student account.

Do stipends to student-athletes count as in-kind payment?

Athletic stipends are not considered to be in-kind payments as they are typically cash payments made either directly to the student-athlete or to their student account.

Do gifts to student-athletes count as in-kind payments? / Can I give a NCAA student-athlete a gift?

In most instances, student-athletes are not allowed to receive gifts from individuals with whom they do not have a natural or long standing personal relationship. However there are some legislated exceptions that allow them to receive gifts from their institution based on participation or special achievements. Such gifts are generally in the form of tangible items as opposed to cash, and are not “payments” but rather, are considered awards.

What is the most important thing to know about in-kind payments in the NIL era?

It is important to know that in-kind payments are an acceptable form of currency for name, image, and likeness (NIL) opportunities, provided the NIL opportunity itself is legitimate and not tied to a recruiting inducement, and the value of the in-kind payment is in line with the student-athlete’s fair market value.