Many student-athletes will take advantage of NIL to run camps and clinics in their respective sports. While this has the potential to provide lucrative streams of revenue for many individuals, students will need to be mindful of various overhead costs associated with these ventures. Liability insurance, rental fees, legal costs and on-site medical staffing are just a few of the peripheral expenses that many student-athletes may not consider initially.  This should be a key component of every institution’s NIL educational efforts. Failing to consider these aspects of the business operation may cause student-athletes great distress down the road.

Along these same lines, athletic departments must remember that student-athletes who are active in the NIL landscape are essentially small business owners.  Since most student-athletes will have very limited experience in the business realm, the learning curve will be steep.  Many state bills mandate that institutions provide student-athletes with NIL education, but even in states where there is no educational mandate, it would behoove athletic departments to invest in educating their student-athletes in areas such as marketing, brand management, financial planning, debt management, budgeting, etc.  Spry’s extensive educational library can assist your institution in providing these resources for your student-athletes!

While Covid boosters appear to be safe for use, when it comes to NIL, boosters can certainly present a fair amount of risk.  While it is permissible for boosters to enter into legitimate business arrangements with student-athletes, institutions are likely to be held responsible when boosters attempt to use NIL as a recruiting inducement or as a means to circumvent pay for play restrictions.  Institutions will need to carefully scrutinize any NIL disclosure between student-athletes and institutional boosters and keep a safe distance from any appearance of impropriety.  Spry’s platform provides athletic departments with the ability to track booster NIL activities, flag disclosures that are above market value and address potential compliance issues in real time.

Speaking of disclosures…while non-disclosure agreements are extremely useful for protecting intellectual property, non-disclosure is not such a great thing when it comes to NIL.  For starters, in most places it’s the law, as the vast majority of states have NIL legislation that requires student-athletes to disclose NIL opportunities with their institution.  Additionally, when institutions fail to enforce disclosure, they lose the ability to capture valuable data on their student-athletes that could be beneficial to the students, as well as to the athletic department from a recruiting standpoint.  While it does add an additional layer of administrative burden, dedicated disclosure management should be a priority for all institutions. Spry offers a convenient, easy to use digital platform that can streamline the NIL disclosure process for overworked and understaffed compliance offices. 

While the ability to earn additional income through NIL is extremely attractive, student-athletes should be advised that spending too much of their time trying to “make it rain” can have extremely negative consequences for both academic as well as athletic performance.  Institutions will benefit by having a well-defined time management plan to assist students in their efforts to manage their priorities appropriately. Spry’s time management function can help bring order to your athlete’s chaotic schedules and also assist with NCAA time management requirements.

 

Todd Hairston Blog Author

This article was first featured in the Lead1 Association Oct/Nov 2021 newsletter.

 

The educational landscape for students who also participate in college sports has experienced two major changes in the past couple of years. The first being NIL legislation and the second being the global pandemic/lockdown due to Covid 19. While these uncharted unknowns caused plenty of uncertainty, they also created multiple new channels of opportunity.  NIL requirements will be a driving force in shaping education technology for the next generation of student-athletes.

 

The Student Athlete Juggling Act – Post NIL

For good or for bad, the introduction of NIL into college athletics has added yet another element onto the already full plate of student-athletes. Not only are they having to shuffle their academic and sport responsibilities, now they have the opportunity to explore the possible entrepreneurial channels NIL opens up for them. And let’s face it, there is a lot to learn when it comes to starting a business; there are multiple layers and possible legal, financial, and PR pitfalls to be aware of.

But, it is also a great opportunity for student-athletes to explore other possible career paths in areas such as business, law, finance, and marketing with hands-on experience, as well as a great way to build supportive networks that will last far beyond their college careers.

 

Finding and Using the Right Tools

With the lockdown quickly forcing all learning outside of the traditional classroom, creative people quickly found creative solutions to keep daily life going as much as possible, and a large part of those solutions live in the digital ecosystem. Now that time has passed and we have exited the full force of lockdown, most of us still find ourselves in a hybrid new world of either wanting to or needing to lean on the technology that got us through it all. 

 

Virtual and tech supported learning has been on the rise for a few years now, thanks to online schooling and classroom assistance software such as Blackboard. And while education technology is still in its infancy in many ways, there are so many wonderful benefits that make it an essential tool to help these college athletes who are juggling more than most.

 

Technology Makes Education More Accessible

Building educational based software can be more cost effective and scalable than traditional routes, and this makes it more accessible to more students. And software is always “on”, so it makes it easier for student-athletes to squeeze in a lesson on paying your taxes when it best fits into their busy schedule, no matter if they are on their way to class or practice, or lounging in bed before calling it a day. The 24/7 access to resources empowers student-athletes to use the technology when it best suits their busy schedules. And technology allows Athletic Departments to easily scale their educational content based on communication with student-athletes that identifies “needs and wants” for content.  

Technology Makes Education More Engaging

Having educational resources hosted in a technology based solution can make it much easier to provide lessons in a variety of mediums such as videos, articles, and quizzes. This can give student-athletes the opportunity to choose content based on their learning style preferences, making it that much more absorbable and effective. A technology based education resource repository can also make it much easier to incorporate more diverse voices in the authorship of the content, granting a much broader spectrum of voices, perspectives, and representations. Education technology can help host and push out timely topics for real time conversations for even more engaging teaching tactics. 

 

For example, Spry recently launched a new feature that provides useful education content based on a student-athletes NIL interest and activities. Data collected from our users software experience allows us to build analysis parameters which suggest content ideas to Athletic Departments.

Technology Makes Education More Actionable

With educational resources living in technology, data from usage and interactions is much easier to collect. Analyzing this data makes gleaning helpful insights much faster and more effective, leading to better iterations, targeting, and creation of future educational content. Utilizing education data also makes it easier to follow participation in educational requirements and mandates, and target specific groups or individuals that need additional reminders.

The issue of institutional marks has created a dilemma for athletic departments since the inception of NIL.  The NCAA’s initial proposed legislative package largely prohibited the use of institutional marks by student-athletes while engaged in NIL activities.  However, as was the case with most issues related to name, image, likeness, the interim policy adopted by the membership in July left the matter of institutional marks to be decided by state legislatures and individual athletic department policies.

 

At present, NIL legislation has been signed into law in 28 states. While these legislative actions have mandated certain aspects of NIL, state bills have protected the ability of schools to control the rights of all institutional logos and trademarked items. This has left the schools to determine if, and under what circumstances, they will allow their marks to be used.  

 

Initially, a number of institutions balked at the idea of student-athletes using the institution’s brand to promote their personal NIL ventures (although ironically, for years NCAA legislation has permitted the use of student-athletes in institutional promotions). However, the absence of NCAA legislation prohibiting this practice opened the door for some schools to take a more permissive, student friendly approach.  This created a boomerang effect that resulted in a number of athletic departments softening their stance on institutional marks to avoid becoming a target for negative recruiting.

 

While a handful of institutions remain at either extreme of the spectrum (i.e. allowing unfettered use of institution marks or instituting an all out ban) most schools have settled somewhere in the middle.  A review of institutional NIL policies across the membership reveals that most policies include a generic statement that the school may allow the use of institutional marks, subject to departmental approval.  This approach allows the school to avoid saying “yes” or “no” to the question. “Maybe” has become the position of choice, as this seems more palatable from a recruiting and PR perspective. Many institutions also indicate that student-athletes may have access to these marks only after paying a licensing fee. 

 

Below are a few examples from athletic department NIL policies:


“Consistent with policies regarding name and trademark use, student-athletes are not permitted to use marks or logos, including all forms of team-issued apparel and uniforms, in conjunction with NIL activities.”

 

“Use of trademarks and logos (including all aspects of the uniform) for NIL activities can only occur after obtaining a written agreement from either the Office of Trademark Licensing (authority dependent upon intended use).”

 

“Student-athletes may request the use of protected marks during the disclosure process before the activity occurs.” 

 

Regardless what policies exist in print however, patterns of how schools choose to handle these issues in practice will eventually emerge. How schools manage the use of their marks for NIL may become a referendum on how attractive they appear to prospective student-athletes and their parents. Given this, schools may wish to give careful consideration as to whether they adopt a marks-ist or anti marks-ist approach.

 

Todd Hairston Blog Author

September 15 to October 14 is recognized as National Hispanic Month. This is a time when we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month to recognize the achievements and contributions of Hispanic American who have inspired others to achieve success.  The NCAA has said that 4.1% of their student-athletes identify as Hispanic or Latino and many are first generation college students. There are so many stories to tell among this population of student-athletes. 

 

Over the summer Spry CEO, Lyle Adams, sat with Dave Torromeowriter for Latin Business Today, to discuss NIL legislation.  The conversation touched on how NIL legislation has opened a door for all student-athletes to find new branding and revenue opportunities.  And, Lyle spoke about his background as a minority student-athlete, touching on ways that the NIL legislation could have benefitted him during his collegiate soccer career.

 

NIL opportunities should be available for all student-athletes regardless of race, sport or size of their institution.  The guidelines that have been put in place, such as education requirements, empower student-athletes not only financially but set them up for continued success. In the 3 months since NIL legislation has passed, we have learned that opportunities are not only going to athletes at Division I but there are deals being signed at all levels.  This goes to show that all athletes have the chance to take advantage of NIL opportunities if they are given the right guidance from their coaches and Athletic Departments.

 

Click here to listen to Lyle’s conversation with Latin Business Today.

 

The 2021-2022 competitive seasons are off and running.  A big player in the “new normal” is the implementation of name, image, and likeness (NIL) legislation.  Student-athletes are now allowed to earn income that can be tied to their status as an intercollegiate athlete.  While this has the potential to be a great opportunity for some student-athletes, for example opportunities to have real experience in their chosen field of study and earn income while doing it.  Student-athletes can explore their creativity in ways that were once limited by NCAA rules that may have nothing to do with athletic status.  

NIL can also present unintended consequences such as outside influences/distractions which can be detrimental to the team dynamic and can significantly impact performance.  

 

Consider the following scenarios:

 

A student-athlete is receiving income to promote a product due to their position on a team and that position changes with a new game plan, or another player earning the spot  This will cause additional  tension between player and coach as well as player and teammates. And the student-athlete could lose the income in the process.  

 

A marginal player is considered desirable from a marketing standpoint due to his/her already established social media presence, personality, charisma, etc.  Being a member of the team enhances marketability and this student-athlete may receive more attention and possibly income from outside sources even though they are not contributing on the field.  

 

Teammate errors made during the game (ie missed pass, missed tackle, etc) could result in a players overall stats being affected, thus impacting their potential for income.  This could lead to confrontation between teammates and damaging team unity and focus. 

 

Demands placed upon student-athletes to attend photo shoots, promotional activities, autograph signings, etc at the commercial location can detract from team and/or academic responsibilities.  

 

Coaches’ decisions regarding a player’s position on the team could significantly impact marketability and could lead to problems on the whole team or a possible transfer to another institution.  

 

Student-athletes will have to balance time demands and expectations must be clear before any NIL agreement is set.   Record keeping by coaches and staff will be critical to ensure compliance with team and department rules.  

Coaches, sport administrators, compliance staff as well as those in marketing and social media departments must be in sync with each other to be sure to present a consistent and common message to student-athletes as they navigate the NIL Era.  Athletic Department Handbooks and Team Rules/Charters should include clear policies and procedures and should be signed off on by the student-athlete at the beginning of the season.  The Development Staff will also need to be trained on the rules and guidelines surrounding NIL since they are quite often the first point of contact from a booster who is interested in working with a student-athlete.  

The NIL process is new for everyone.  Athletic departments are working to provide education and guidance to student-athletes and coaches.  This will be a learning experience for all and support will be necessary to manage the challenges as they are presented.

 

Barbara Walker Blog Author

Student-athletes of all generations have had to learn how to manage the demands of playing their sport at the collegiate level.   No matter which division they compete in, many of the demands are the same; balancing athletics, academics and social life while, for many, being away from home for the first time in their lives.  The coaches I have worked with over the years have done an outstanding job of discussing expectations during the recruiting process.  Student-athletes usually include parents, family members and/or close friends during these discussions and their focus is clear when financial matters are covered.  A new dimension has been added to this process, that of the implementation of “Name Image and Likeness” into the program.

Coaches need to have a clear policy regarding NIL and it needs to be discussed openly and frankly with the student and their family.

Many student-athletes (and their parents) have dreams of greatness on the playing field which will lead to a professional sports career.  They will view  NIL opportunities as a way to not only gain more exposure, but gain financially as well.  Coaches will need a clear understanding of the financial profile of each student-athlete to make sure the student-athlete makes an educated decision regarding any outside income.  With the help of compliance and financial aid experts, the coach can be armed with information about aid that could be compromised as well as tax implications and who will be responsible for payment.  Conversations about this will take place during recruiting and throughout the career of the student-athlete.

Discussions involving money will likely be the most important AND the most difficult. If financial aid is not a consideration, other discussions will be taking place between coach and athlete regarding opportunities that are being presented.  For example, if promotional appearances are expected from the sponsor, a clear understanding of when they take place and where, what the student-athlete is allowed to wear (branding issues), etc.  Coaches will support opportunities for their athletes as long as it does not prove to be a distraction to the player or the team.  If a student-athlete is struggling academically, most coaches will not support involvement in anything that will take away from academic focus.

Thousands of conversations take place between player and coach during the course of a season and academic year.  Many of these are and should be initiated by the student-athlete.  It is important for the lines of communication to be open, particularly regarding NIL which will be a learning process to be discussed and evaluated as the season progresses.

 

Barbara Walker Blog Author

 

With student-athletes back on campus and the return of fall sports, many schools have reported an uptick in NIL deals. Media outlets over the past few weeks have been highlighting major NIL opportunities, ranging from students signing endorsement deals with major apparel retailers, fast-food chains and even airline companies. With football stadiums at full capacity, and school spirit returning to full bloom, there is no surprise why businesses would want to work with these student-athletes.

If you are reading this and thinking to yourself, “we are certainly not in the same boat as these large institutions,” you are not alone. Majority of institutions find themselves in your shoes.

However, just because student-athletes are not being approached by businesses or boosters to sign NIL deals, does not mean that these opportunities are not available. Student-athletes from ALL types of institutions deserve to be empowered to understand that these opportunities exist. In order to empower your student-athletes, they need to be provided with the necessary resources to guide them.

All athletic departments have the ability to empower their student-athletes through NIL education. Providing content that illustrates how student-athletes from similar backgrounds or institutions are finding success through NIL will provide valuable insights for your student-athletes.

Even in the first two months of NIL, we have seen student-athletes from many different levels (from lesser-resourced institutions, Olympic sport athletes, or even a limited social media following) have success in NIL opportunities. Here are two NIL opportunity types that ALL of your eligible student-athletes should be aware of and consider:

  1. Promo codes via social media posts = low risk and mutually beneficial
    • Many student-athletes have utilized the promo code approach to capitalize on their NIL. For student-athletes who may not have tens of thousands of followers, they still may be able to benefit from using promo codes. For example, a student athlete may have a small following that consists of mostly students on campus. Reaching out to a campus-located popular restaurant could be a great way for a student athlete to use their platform to increase visibility for the restaurant.
    • Additionally, businesses will be more inclined to say yes to this type of opportunity, as it is low risk and can generate more business for them.
  2. Camps/Clinics/Lessons – student-athletes can monetize their skillset (or craft)
    • Every student athlete has the opportunity to return to their hometown and share their expertise with potential future athletes. Whether it is a one-off tennis lesson for a child of a family friend, or a 50-attendee basketball camp, student-athletes of all sports and levels will be able to utilize their skills and experiences.

Even if these opportunities may not result in four-digit contracts, they still can be extremely meaningful to your student-athletes. These deals yield real-life business experiences that student-athletes can carry with them throughout the rest of their lives. College classrooms are tremendous ways to learn, but there is no better learning opportunity than a real-world experience. Now is the time to provide your student-athletes with insights and tools to help them realize their potential.

Matt S Blog Author

 

 

The 2020/21 Summer (and Para-) Olympic games are now behind us and for thousands of Olympic sport student-athletes, the timing could not be better.  Though not typically the focus of daily headlines, once every two years the Olympic Games (Summer and Winter) provide a platform for less well known events like beach volleyball, rowing and water polo to gain rare exposure before a global audience. Similarly, more traditional Olympic sports such as track and field, volleyball, swimming and diving and gymnastics take center stage during prime time.  The delay of the 2020 games thrust these sports into the limelight at exactly the moment when NIL bills in states across the country were opening the door for college athletes to cash in on their skill and marketability.  The timing of these events aligned with the symmetry of two synchronized swimmers, and the result could potentially mean big bucks for Olympic sport athletes.  

 

Conventional wisdom has suggested that the major beneficiaries of this legislative change will primarily be athletes in the revenue sports of football and men’s basketball.  The data, however, suggests a different reality. So far, Spry has seen athletes from 18 different sports benefit from NIL legislation.

 

Allyson Felix, who became the most decorated American Track & Field athlete of all time during the Tokyo games, has earned an estimated $4.5 million from various endorsement deals with companies such as Adidas, Nike, and Gap (Athletica).  Similarly, Simone Biles, widely regarded as the greatest gymnast of all time, earns a reported $5 million in endorsement deals annually. Recently retired Olympic icons Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps have earned an estimated $90 and $80 million respectively through endorsements.  

 

Obviously, most college athletes will never have the name recognition or marketability of Simone Biles or Michael Phelps, however what they have been able to achieve does dispel the notion that NIL opportunities are reserved strictly for revenue sport athletes. There are numerous Olympic stars who’ve had success on the Olympic Stage who were collegiate athletes: Katie Ledecky (Stanford), Lolo Jones (Louisiana State University), , Caeleb Dressel (UF), and Sydney McLaughlin (University of Kentucky), to name a few. The popularity of the Olympics illustrates that there is an appetite for a broad range of sporting events beyond football and basketball, and the success of Olympic sport athletes shows that it is possible for student-athletes in these sports to benefit from NIL opportunities as well.

 

Strategic timing may be vital to Olympic sport athletes’ ability to maximize their value, particularly those with the ability to boost their brand by actually qualifying for the games.  While opportunities for these athletes will always exist, they will likely be most plentiful during Olympic years. With the Tokyo Olympics having just concluded, the Winter Olympics scheduled for 2022 and the Paris Summer games only three years away, Olympic sport athletes should be prepared to take full advantage of the momentum of these moments.

 

Todd Hairston Blog Author

Name, Image and Likeness has dominated the conversation within intercollegiate athletic circles for much of the past year.  Now two months into the NIL era, we are starting to identify where some of the gaps exist within the current process.  One of those areas seems to be around education. 

 

From the student perspective, NIL presents a tremendous opportunity and potentially endless new revenue streams.  However the message across the board from student-athletes is that they need help! For many students, most of whom are likely not well versed in the ways of business, NIL is proving to be quite overwhelming.  Every student-athlete who engages in any NIL opportunity essentially becomes a small business owner.  With that comes a whole host of responsibilities that will likely require a basic knowledge in areas such as tax liability, financial planning, legal liability, contract negotiation, marketing and insurance, just to name a few. This would be daunting for most adults regardless of our level of experience.  Obviously, since very few college students come to campus with extensive knowledge in many of these areas, they will undoubtedly need educational support in order to protect themselves and avoid missteps that could be very costly down the road. 

 

From the institution’s perspective, one of the questions that has been repeatedly asked is, what exactly is the school’s responsibility as it relates to educating their student-athletes about NIL?  Some have argued that the institution has a duty to prepare their student-athletes for life and that NIL education falls squarely in line with their overall educational mission.  Others, however, believe now that students have the opportunity to monetize their own personal attributes independent of their school, with that comes the responsibility to manage their own affairs, including educating themselves appropriately.  

 

NIL legislation has solved that dilemma in many states by mandating that institutions provide some level of education for all student-athletes.  Of the 29 states that have enacted NIL legislation, seven (Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas) have language in their statutes that either requires or strongly encourages education.

 

For example, Florida was one of the first state NIL bills to go into effect.  Their legislation (SB 646) stipulates that schools must provide a five-hour financial literacy workshop at the beginning of every student-athlete’s first and third year that covers the topics of financial aid, debt management, time management, budgeting and an overview of available academic resources at the institution.  The other states with requirements have similar stipulations for educational content.  

  • Kentucky and North Carolina are unique in that while the other states ratified bills through their legislature, Governors in these two states implemented NIL guidelines via Executive Order. 
  • Kentucky, however, is the only state that incorporated social media and brand management education into their curriculum.  
  • North Carolina has many of the same content areas as the other states, however unlike Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee and Texas who have mandated these efforts, North Carolina’s Executive Order only recommends that this education be provided, but stops short of requiring it.  

 

Even in these states, however, is it enough and does the legislation focus on the right things? Critical areas such as liability and risk management are not a part of the required educational content in any state. Only one state (Kentucky) requires education around brand management, a vitally important aspect of NIL.

 

Below is a chart that summarizes the educational requirements in each state:

 

NIL Education Requirements by State

Florida Georgia Kentucky Louisiana North Carolina*** Tennessee Texas
Financial Aid X X X X X
Debt Management X X X X X X X
Budget Planning X X X X X X X
Time Management X X X X
Academic Resources X X X X
Social Media/Brand Management X

***Recommended but not required

 

Of course, many institutions will opt to provide education to their student-athletes even in states where there is no requirement to do so.  A number of departments plan to leverage relationships with business and professional schools on their campuses while others have outsourced this responsibility to third party entities. However, developing this content and delivering it en masse to large groups of student-athletes isn’t cheap.  This has left many athletic departments wondering if they can afford to develop robust educational programming for their students.  Others, on the other hand, wonder if they can afford not to.

 

However schools choose to address this critical issue, it seems clear that there is an appetite for more guidance among student-athletes and parents.  How institutions respond to this desire for information may directly impact their ability to attract student-athletes and build successful programs.

 

Todd Hairston Blog Author

Click here to learn more about the educational offerings and functionality of the Spry platform.

It is a new era in college athletics and the new NIL legislation creates new opportunities for college athletes that will add to their educational experience.  However, new opportunities will not come without challenges, responsibility and controlling expectations.   Parents & Guardians play a vital role in controlling the expectations for their sons and daughters in this space.  Coaches and administrators will not only have to deal with playing time, performance in the classroom, but controlling the expectations of the potential earnings in the NIL arena.  

 

I have always believed that the experiences of being a college athlete is the best paid internship to prepare you for life and your professional career path. Regardless of the career path, the experiences you learned as a collegiate athlete will pay you back many times over in dividends for years to come. The preparation time athletes put into their sport, the experiences in the locker room, the practice field, game day, how you deal with success and failure and the relationships that you build will help you in your professional career whatever career path you choose. The education and lessons learned through your participation in your respective collegiate sport compliments what you learn in the classroom and can provide you an advantage in both your professional and personal life. Now layer in the new NIL opportunities and you are learning in real time what it takes to evaluate business opportunities and to learn basics skills needed to operate  your own business.  If done right the NIL experiences will be another educational value and skillset the student-athlete will have when they complete their collegiate experience. However, NIL will be met with challenges for coaches and administrators.

Controlling expectations from parents and the athletes will be important.   

Although athletic scholarships can vary by sport, relatively the value of a full scholarship is the same across all sports.  However, NIL will be market driven based on the type of opportunity, geographic region, national vs local and the expected brand value of the student-athlete.  In other words, all NIL opportunities will not be created equal and will vary by opportunity and be quite different based on the brand value of the athlete.  NIL will be much different than the one size fits all scholarship model.  Performance on the field may not always equate to the NIL value in the marketplace. A bad decision off the field will cost you NIL opportunities and the athlete’s monetary outcome.

Time management has always been a key to a successful student-athlete.  

The NIL opportunities will have to be prioritized along with classroom and sport participation obligations. Parents, coaches, administrators, and the athletes will all play a vital role in controlling the expectations in this space.  Some NIL opportunities will be more turnkey than others so it will be important to understand the time commitments on the front end.

Educate yourself on the best practices and obligations required to fulfill a NIL opportunity.

Parents should become educated with the various NIL opportunities, understanding the third party’s role and to ensure they have the best interests of your son or daughter.  It will also be important to understand the brand and product or service you are representing and ensure that it aligns with your individual brand and that it doesn’t conflict with any of your values or the schools’ values and code of conduct.   If you are not familiar with a particular topic in this space, just ask the person who oversees NIL on your campus.  Ask questions and educate yourself if you are not familiar with a specific opportunity.  It is ok to not know all the answers.

Much will be learned with NIL over the next few years, by all. 

If you need to be educated on a topic most schools will or should have educational resources in place to assist you. It is also important to understand your federal, state, and local tax obligations for NIL payments and whether this will have any impact on your need based financial aid package from the university.   Better to understand this up front rather than waiting until your NIL has already been spent and you have an unexpected tax obligation or reduction in financial aid package.  

Don’t get caught up in what others are earning through NIL, rather learn from each other’s successes and failures.  

If you have a particular interest or skillset explore how an NIL opportunity can provide you additional exposure or experience in an area of interest. Beside the additional monetary value, use this as an opportunity to build on your skill sets that will be useful for the long-term.  Planning, preparation, and performance will not only determine your on-field successes, but these three principles will also determine your success in the NIL arena. Treat it as an educational opportunity and building skills for the future and it will add to your already valuable experiences of being a student-athlete.  I recently talked to a former collegiate athlete, and they were concerned about not having the internship experiences other students could participate in because of time constraints based on their sports involvement.  I reminded them- and brought to their attention- the skills they were able to perfect by being a student-athlete. The NIL opportunities will only add to this unique experience of being a collegiate athlete but provide another advantage of the skills necessary to be successful in the marketplace.  NIL cannot only add to the monetary value of being a collegiate athlete but can also round out your overall collegiate educational experience.    

 

Keith Martin Blog Author

 

Keith and Pam Martin have been around college athletics their entire adult life.   Keith was a student-athlete at the University of Kentucky and Pam was a student trainer at UK at the same time.   They have 3 sons Josh, Zack and Nick who all played college football and two are currently playing in the NFL.   Keith also spent 29 years at the NCAA and has watched first- hand how the landscape has changed in the collegiate space over time, and how current and future collegiate athletes can learn new skills as part of their educational experience.